Date: 25 January 2021
Distance: 8km out-and-back
Time: 1:45 going up | 1:30 going down
An invitation came along for a walk up to a hut, which was the perfect opportunity to get my bum off of the chair and do something physical for a change. To be fair, we have started jogging 4km most days of the week for the past month or so to try and get back into some form of fitness and routine. It has been a hard slog, and sometimes a real challenge just to cover those 4km, but we have been going reasonably steady for the past month.
Apart from running the Jumbo-Holdsworth Trail race in 2018 we are for all intents and purposes Tararua virgins. We have never ventured into the Tararua Ranges in the almost ten years that we’ve been living in it’s foothills at the northern-most part. This was mainly due to being scared senseless from all the news items of people who die in the mountain, and sometimes following a rescue mission with varied outcomes. Just last year a gentleman’s body was found only after eleven days of searching, after he fell down a waterfall in the Arete stream. Continue reading
Starting fresh, clean and without any aches or pains.
Putangirua Pinnacles campsite.
The route follows the riverbed for the first half kilometre or so.
Easy going on a well formed trail in the first couple kilometres.
Even steps to make it more accessible to do the Pinnacles scenic loop walk.
A split in the road to complete the Pinnacles walk, go to Te Toki accommodation or further into the mountain to Washpool Hut.
An easy uphill section on a 4WD road.
Very steep, but easy going.
Through the manuka trees onto a grassy patch.
Some NZ wildlife.
If this is not a magic mushroom, I don’t know what is!
Further and further up the mountain.
Follow the orange triangles – up and up.
If I had to guess, I would say that the Libertia (NZ iris) grows at about 300 metres above sea level. At least in this area, we saw them on both sides of the mountain at about this altitude.
In a distance: the sea to the left and Lake Ferry to the right. We followed the ridge in the foreground.
Another weird looking fungi.
Arriving at the hut that was “born” the same year as Gerry!
Our marshalling spot, geared with gels, tent, stove and camera.
Magical misty mountain.
Variety of ferns in the area.
The hut is way down below in this valley.
The trunk and roots of a Matai tree.
At first I thought a hunter had slaughtered his deer on the track!
Between the beech trees.
Fetching water from the stream about 60 metres from the hut.
A steep little climb between the stream and the hut.
We had a cozy evening by fire and candle light.
A very small little hut that only sleeps six.
The hut is nestled in a tiny clearing in the forest.
There’s quite a bit of stinging nettle in this area.
Evidence that this hut is frequented mostly by hunters.
The hill is often at this gradient, necessitating an all-fours approach.
Back among the native NZ iris.
The flowers of a rewarewa (NZ honeysuckle)
Lunch in a grassy clearing.
Back on the 4WD track and at the turn-off to the PInnacles viewpoint.
Pinnacles up closer.
Fallen trees (manuka) make for a 15kg squat and deadlift, all in one!
On the edge of an abyss.
Back in the river bed.
A few minor stream crossings.
Pinnacles up close.
Another year of not doing this event, but this time we opted to marshal. I’ve always been partial to multi-day runs, which is maybe why I also love tramping so much. So while we were in no state to participate, we thought it would be nice to experience a wee bit of the event at some level. Event organiser Chris Martin (aka Martini) agreed to have us, and placed us at the peak of the fourth “undulation”about 2-3km above Washpool Hut in the Aorangi Ranges. The Aorangi Undulator comprises of a 100km event (the A100), run over the three days, and a one day event of about 32km, which is also the middle day of the A100 – the day we marshalled. Continue reading
Date: 9 June 2017
Distance: Depending on the source, 18.4km or 19km
Walking up the Razorback Ridge.
Gerry at Dieffenbach cliffs.
Time for a break and warm coffee.
Gerry crossing a slip.
The red water of the Kokowai Stream.
Signs at either side of Boomerang Slip, cautioning hikers to cross the slip one at a time.
Gerry making his way across the Boomerang Slip.
Ahukawakawa Swamp/Wetlands in the valley below.
Since Lonely Planet named Taranaki “the second best region in the world to visit”, while highlighting the Pouakai Crossing as “one of two unmissable attractions”, I’ve been keen to see what all the fuss was about.
Mt Taranaki in Egmont National Park has always been on the to-do list. We’ve only done short walks in the area, and “knocking off the bastard” remains on the to-do list. Continue reading
24 December 2016 – Christmas Eve
Clean and fresh in the carpark at Whakapapa Village.
Gerry crossing the Golden rapids – yellow coloured due to the high iron content in the stream.
Some good sturdy bridges to cross some streams dry-footed.
Just a nice walk in the forest.
The undulations already started in the first couple of hours.
Due to the rain of the previous night, the track was quite wet.
Luckily we didn’t fall down the chute!
The eroded path resulted in some muddy patches.
In stark contrast, some other areas of the track were very well developed.
An early taste of the tough terrain to come.
A bridge built in memory of another life lost in the deceivingly dangerous mountain streams.
Fresh dumping of snow on the mountain.
Icy cold streams, too deep to cross with dry footed.
Contemplating the prospect of wet feet for the rest of the day.
Just beautiful views of the mountain whenever you look up.
A final small stream before reaching the hut.
Late lunch on the porch of Whakapapaiti Hut, before continuing on to make up a bit of distance before settling in for the night.
More stream crossings – some rock-hopping, others knee deep.
Clearly not impressed by having to pour water from my waterproof boots!
A final cold, wet stream crossing before calling it a day.
With camp all set up, we were having coffee and cooking dinner with the sun starting to set.
Lying in the tent with our festive Christmas lights, we couldn’t have hoped for a better scene.
The beautiful Mt Ruapehu glowing pink in the evening light.
What was meant to be an early night, early start, drive to Whakapapa Village and start walking early, turned into a very late night (1am), getting up four hours later, load everything in the car, drive the two and half hours, sign in, get sorted and only start walking at 11:11am. (Looking back at our previous trip, it would seem that old habits die hard.) Continue reading