Mount Putauaki

Mount Putauaki, also known as Mount Edgecumbe, is a dacite volcanic cone in the Bay of Plenty Region of New Zealand. Located 50 km east of Rotorua and three kilometres east of Kawerau, it is the easternmost vent of the Okataina volcanic centre, within the Taupo Volcanic Zone.

The mountain rises to 820m above sea level, and is visible from the waters of the Bay of Plenty, 30 km to the north.

Every year a King of the Mountain race is run on Putauaki as part of the international King of the Mountain series, and proceeds are donated to charity.


The last substantial volcanic eruption occurred around 300 BCE, producing a cubic kilometre of lava.

Its English name was given by Captain James Cook on 2nd November 1769 after Sergeant Edgecombe who was the sergeant of marines on his vessel, the Endeavour. The mountain’s official name was changed back to Putauaki in 1925, and it is now sometimes spelled with a macron (Pūtauaki).

Part of the mountain was taken from the Ngāti Awa people in the 1880s as part of a series of North Island land confiscations, supposedly for the purposes of military settlement. In a 1999 report the Waitangi Tribunal declared the confiscation illegal because there was no prospect of placing settlers on the mountain.

Climbing Mount Putauaki

Climbing to the summit of Mount Putauaki/Edgecumbe takes about 2 hours up and around 1.5 hours to come down.

PLEASE NOTE: There must be a minimum of four people to climb the mountain. This is for safety reasons.

A permit is required to access the road and to climb the mountain. These permits can be obtained from MIL (Maori Invenstments), who are located on Waterhouse Street Extension (off River Road) in Kawerau.

They can be contacted on 07 323 8146, and are only open Monday – Friday.

If you require a permit for the weekend, these must be pre-arranged prior to that date.