Mount Taranaki, also known as Mount Egmont, on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is said to be one of the most symmetrical volcanic cone in the world (another candidate is Mayon Volcano). The volcano was born 120,000 years ago and erupted last in 1775, but it’s not done yet. Volcanologists agree that Taranaki is only lying dormant, waiting, biding its time.
The volcano is located at the center of the nearly circular Egmont National Park, whose boundary appears as a dark green circle in satellite and other high-altitude pictures, because of the difference in vegetation between inside and outside the park. The dark shade represents native forest while the light green areas are pasture land that butts right up to the park’s circular boundary. Most of New Zealand’s lowland forests have been cleared for agriculture, leaving only small fragmented pockets of native forest filled with old growth trees. The circle of Egmont National Park is about 19 km across.