British navigator James Cook described his arrival off Taranaki in January 1770 in his journal:
‘Thursday 11th ... at this time Albetross point bore NE distant near 2 Leagues and the southermost land in sight bore SSW½W, being a very high Mountain and made very much like the Peak of Tenerieff ...
‘Saturday 13th Winds Variable ... In the night had some Thunder Lightning, and rain. At 5 AM saw for a few Minutes the Top of the peaked Mountain above the Clowds, bearing NE; It is of a prodigious height and its top is cover'd with everlasting snow. ... I have named it Mount Egmont in honour of the Earl of Egmont —
‘This mountain seems to have a pretty large base and to rise with a gradual assent to the peak and what makes it more conspicuous is, its being situated near the Sea, [and in the middle of] and a [low] flat Country in its neighbourhood which afforded a very good asspect — — being cloathed with Wood and Verdure.’
This contemporary view of the mountain was taken from near Tongapōrutu, on the Taranaki coast north of New Plymouth.
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