Back to nature in the Ruahines

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.

Ruahine Ranges above Iron Gate Hut
Ruahine Ranges above Iron Gate Hut. Photo: Milly

The next morning we started with gentle hill terrain to ease into the day. We started off with a sunny spring day and later on along the ridges it was reasonably windy and more exposed to the elements. Special highlight of the day was the spectacular views when we reached the ridgelines past Tunupo. This is when the terrain got a little more technical with slightly steeper sections to navigate up and down along the ridge.

Trampers on a ridge
Yenfei, Bethany and Milly high on the ridge. Photo: Milly
Tramper in the Ruahine Ranges
Bethany enjoying the view. Photo: Milly
Trampers in the Ruahine Ranges
About to descend to Iron Gate Hut. Photo: Milly

The track was well marked and easy to follow with little navigation needed. It took us 7½ hrs walking at moderate pace with leisurely stops. Iron Gate Hut is a newish hut and very comfortable to stay in. Another highlight was having the hut near the river and being able to enjoy nearby the lovely waterfall.

Tramper crossing a creek
Yenfei near Iron Gate Hut. Photo: Milly
Picturesque Iron Gate Hut
Iron Gate Hut. Photo: Milly
The very new Iron Gate Hut
The very new Iron Gate Hut. Photo: Tash
Waterfall just by Iron Gate Hut. Photo: Sean

The next morning was a short day of three hours to the carpark. We enjoyed the undulating trails along the river and keeping our ears and eyes out hoping to see a whio. Unlucky for us we didn’t manage to see but it was good hearing stories and seeing photos from the Easy-Medium group.

Trampers on Iron Gate Hut track
Easy-Medium and Medium group on Sunday. Photo: Anna

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