The near-circular, conical peak of Mount Egmont on New Zealand’s North Island presents itself in full glory. It is assumed that the volcano has had this shape only for the last 10 000 years, and the same goes for its 2518 metre height. Lava flows from earlier outbreaks have covered a major part of the surroundings, stretching across 25 kilometres towards the ocean, forming a ring-shaped easily visible plain.
The Maori people call this mountain "Taranaki", which means "without vegetation ".
Only a few thousand years ago the lower plains were completely covered by dense rain forests. Today, the only forests left are those on the slopes of Taranaki in the Egmont National Park, which stands out from the surrounding intensively used farming and pasture land as if it had been drawn with a compass.
It has a number of snow fields but no glaciers on its peak. Often in the summer time the peak is completely ice free, while in the winter season skiing is possible on Manganui’s own ski-field.
Credit: DLR; date: July 15, 2007, 07:07 UTC; original resolution: 3 metres (reduced image); mode: StripMap mode; polarisation: VV.