Mt. Taranaki (Mt. Egmont), on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is New Zealand’s second tallest volcano and one of the most symmetrical volcanic cones in the world. Due to it’s resemblance to Mt Fuji, in Japan, it served as the backdrop for the movie “The Last Samurai.”
According to Maori legend, Taranaki once resided in the central North Island with three other mountains: Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. He desired nearby Mt Pihanga, but when me made advances on her, a great battle ensued between Taranaki and Tongariro. Tongariro won, and Pihanga stayed close by his side. Defeated, jealous, angry and sad, Taranaki retreated to the West Coast, his path carving out the course of the Whanganui River. When shrouded in cloud, as he often is, Taranaki is said to be weeping for his lost love.
On my recent visit to the North Island, the weather forecast for nearby New Plymouth was encouraging, so I made the drive down from Auckland without really knowing what to expect. As I neared New Plymouth, I stopped off to visit the Three Sisters at around low tide, and it was there that I got my first glimpse of Mt. Taranaki. He was still topped with snow, and only his summit was concealed. By the time that I got to town, his summit was exposed, but it wasn’t to last. The forecast was for the mountain to once again hide behind the clouds at nightfall. I had limited time and limited options, so I drove towards the mountain as the sun dropped lower and lower in the sky and the clouds closed in. As the final bit of light began to leave the summit, I pulled over to the roadside and quickly set up the photo that you see here. Just a few hours later, the mountain was gone, hiding behind cloud and weeping for Pihanga.
If you are considering purchasing a print of “Piha Pride,” you’ll be pleased to know that I will donate 10 percent of the purchase price of your print to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal to help out kiwis still trying to rebuild after the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.
This print is available for purchase in three sizes (Simply click on the link to the size that you desire, and you’ll be taken to a page where you can add it to your cart.):