Points of Interest:
Time: 15 Minutes to top Volcanic rock
The climb is relatively easy even for the unfit like me. Wear sturdy shoes. The first 10 minutes are all wooden stairs with handrails. Take your time if you don’t want to pant too much, there are a few places to stop on the way and even a bench or two to rest and take in the scenery.
The stairs do come to an end though and a trickier climb waits, but not to worry as a chain has been provided to assist you. You can use it for balance or to haul yourself up the rock face. Those with a fear of heights may struggle but the rewards from the top are completely worth it!
Once at the top you are greeted with an unhindered 360 degree view, looking out to sea, up and down the coast and across New Plymouth itself all the way to the majestic Mount Taranaki. While not exactly level the top is a comfortable viewing platform with plenty of space so you don’t need to be near the edge if you are nervous. Railings surround the top just to ensure you don’t go too near the edges. Take a load off, grab some photos; try to spot seals playing in the surf and on the rocks. It really is hard not to smile from up there.
In summer remember to wear sunscreen as is always important in New Zealand, bug spray wouldn’t go amiss either. Winter can make the rocks a little slippery and more care needs to be taken, choose a suitable day for your journey. Personally I have traversed to the top of Paritutu many times and in conditions from sunshine to heavy rain, once even at night in the fog but that was when I was a teenager and not really recommended. Remember to treat Paritutu with respect and common sense and you will be fine.
The climb down is a breeze. Take your time especially on the rock face and use the chain for support. I recommend, especially if you are nervous to face the rock on the way down to reduce the chances of slipping as your toes can grip better than your heels. Of course once you reach the stairs it’s a breeze.