Alpha Hut via Marchant Ridge

On the way to Alpha Hut

Alpha Hut was our plan B, as we could not make the Southern Crossing happen due to the closing of the Otaki Forks road.  We met on Saturday bright and early at 6:30am at the train station, before driving to Kaitoke carpark (Kiwi Road end). We left around 7:45am and started walking in the beautiful … Read more

Tongariro Northern Circuit in a day

A scoria descent from Red Crater to the three Emerald lakes. Blue Lake is at top left. 11.15 am

DOC promote this Great Walk as a 3-4 day tramp with two or three overnight stays (Mangatepopo, Oturere, Waihohonu Huts) for good reason. The scenery is exceptional. Alternatively, it can be walked in two days with each day at least 8 hours. However, the Northern Circuit in a day is possible. Trail runners run it … Read more

Back to nature in the Ruahines

Ruahine Ranges above Iron Gate Hut

We were all ready for a weekend away and the best excuse is the opportunity to get back into nature. We arrived Friday night with a relaxing 30 minute walk to Alice Nash Memorial Heritage Hut. The advantage with reaching summer time is the long day light hours and arriving to the hut before dark. … Read more

The Haunting of Iron Gate Hut

Picturesque Iron Gate Hut

I am not a superstitious man, but even I am loath to tempt fate by venturing out, away from civilization, on All Hallow’s Eve. On the night of Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is thinnest and the spirits of the dead are free to roam the earth, anything is possible, and good, sensible … Read more

Mountain Turks

A Turk on the Crown Range

Not a hut, not a tank, but a Turk working bee……this line from the Mountain Turk Club website intrigued me as I was hobbling around Wellington in a moon boot last February. I quickly agreed to fly south to Queenstown to assist the Mountain Turk Club building a Turk for a weekend, light relief as … Read more

Whirinaki Forest, Te Pua-a-Tāne Circuit

whio

‘Whio, whio’, I could hardly believe it—we had been walking for less than two hours and already my promise of sightings of the nationally vulnerable whio on this trip was coming true. I could see why the circuit we were tramping was called the Te Pua-a-Tāne Circuit—the name itself means the abundance or blossoming of … Read more

Richmond Range (a primer)

Richmond Range

We weren’t supposed to be in the Mount Richmond Forest Park – that was Plan C. But the weather had already put paid to Plans A and B. So as we were driving up Staircase Road to the Lake Chalice carpark and a pine tree fell in slow motion across the road immediately in front … Read more

Te Ao Whekere Reconaissance

Sometimes trips I lead are a bit chaotic. This one was no exception! High winds forecast for the Sunday afternoon ruled out camping anywhere along the ridge, so our crazy plan was to summit Te Ao Whekere and return in one VERY long day. After a booking fail (my fault) with the ferry, we ended … Read more

Crawling around Tapokopoko

On Friday night we walked into Paua Hut with Tony S’s Mt Matthews group. Their group had fun practicing a linked up river crossing in the Orongorongo River while our group zoomed on towards Paua hut to see how far we could get without using our headlamps. Finding the toilet at Paua hut that night … Read more

Snailing around Ruahine Corner Hut

Ruahine Corner Hut

Any trip worth its salt has an epic long drive and it seems this one was no different – it involved Matt having to do a superb job navigating around a pack of farm dogs that seemed intent on stopping the club van progressing up the road – I think they got the club van … Read more