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Des Williams takes a 30 minute drive out of Hamilton to walk the popular Mangakara Walk in Pirongia Forest Park.

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Our photo of the week today features the impressive Mt Taranaki located in Egmont National Park.

Local Māori believe Mt Taranaki once stood with the mountains of the central North Island. After a dispute over the maiden Pihanga, Taranaki fled his ancestral home, carving out the bed of the Whanganui River on his journey to the coast

This photo was taken from the Pouakai Range north of the maunga/mountain.

Mount Taranaki in the Egmont National Park. Photo: Malcolm Peacey.

DOC is running a survey to get a better idea of what people like to do in Egmont National Park and what opportunities they would like to see within the park in the future. Tell us what you think and be in to win some great prizes. The survey runs until Friday 17th January.

Photo by Malcolm Peacey | CC BY-NC 2.0

Today’s photo of the week is from the Heaphy Track in the Kahurangi National Park.

A three year trial of winter mountain biking on the Heaphy Track has recently finished. The subsequent Kahurangi National Park mountain biking trial 2011-2013 report supports mountain biking continuing.

Biking on the Heaphy Track.

The Heaphy Track passes through diverse landscapes, from beautiful beech forest to expansive tussock grasslands, to lush forests, nikau palms and roaring seas.

It’s a tough ride, and not to be underestimated. It requires advanced mountain biking skills, being ranked Grade 4 rising to Grade 5/expert in wet or otherwise difficult riding conditions.

It takes 2 – 3 days to ride (4 – 6 days to walk) depending on fitness, skills and conditions.

This photo was taken by Jono B.

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