Holly Hut

Intro

The group had signed up to do Syme Hut, but changed plans given the conditions and out of respect for the two climbers who lost their lives on Mt Taranaki 4 May. Our first night was at Konini Lodge by the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre. Saturday we drove 50 minutes around the mountain and walked an easy 4 hours to Holly Hut, with plenty of pauses to take in the awesome mountain and ocean views. Gorgeous hut, warm fire, comfy bunks. Sunday we took the lower route through the more sheltered enchanted forest of Kokowai track.

Friday

After battling commuters to leave the big smoke,
we arrived at Egmont National Park where suddenly everyone awoke.
Stars were shining,
and trampers were pining on the thought of those hot showers.

Sun over Taranaki Maunga
Shining stars and sunrise – looking up at Mount Taranaki from the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre, near Konini Lodge where we overnighted Friday (Photo credit: Hannah)

Saturday

North Egmont to Holly Hut (via Holly hut track) – 4 hr with breaks
Side trip to Bells Falls – approx 1hr return

To say it was chilly would be a lie,
You might say some were wishing the night by.
Some awoke unable to feel their toes,
whilst others glowed, some couldn’t feel their nose.

Mount Taranaki putting on the ultimate show,
Packed and loaded and ready to go.
Steady climb through the bush,
climbing higher,
what a rush!

Lapping up all the views,
Mt taranaki the perfect muse.
Fast approaching the holly hut,
A side hussle to bells fall was a definite must.

Sunset was an absolute belter,
Even spectating from the shelter.
Red, purple and pink,
It was hard not to blink.

The night soon came and fire roaring,
We settled in until the morning.
Not forgetting Anne’s gourmet pasta pesto.
We awoke with the attitude leets gooo!

Tramping up a valley
Heading up Holly Hut Track (photo credit: John)
Four trampers on a ridge
Meredith, Natasha, Hannah, John and Sal on Holly Hut Track (photo credit: Anne)
DOC sign for the Holly Hut Track
Looking back at the thin line of Holly Track before continuing on to the Hut (Photo credit: Anne)
Group sitting outside Holly Hut
Relaxing outside Holly Hut – from left: Sal, Hannah, Natasha, Meredith and John (Photo credit: Anne)
Two trampers looking at a small waterfall
Bell Falls – a 1 hour side trip from Holly Hut (Photo credit: John)

Sunday

Holly Hut to intersection with Kokowai track – 1hr
Intersection to Kokowai carpark (via Kokowai track) – approx 2h15
Kokowai carpark to North Egmont visitor center (via road) – approx 30min

A warm fire kept the hut was toasty overnight. It was freezing outside so it was fabulous to have a fire.

At 8am we left the hut and walked back up many steps to yesterday’s lunch spot. It was about an hour from the hut. At this point our trip leader reassessed the weather. We had two options: either go ahead the same way or turn left down the Kokowai track. We thought that some parts of Holly track would be exposed to the southerlies which were picking up at that point.

The wind was starting to howl by this point so we took a different route down the mountain, to Kokowai track. It was a bit exposed at first and gales of wind tried to blow us over. We were soon under the welcome cover of mossy green fairy forest.

Tramping up some stairs
Heading back down the mountain on Kokowai track (Photo credit: Anne)
Natasha, Meredith and Hannah heading down Kokowai track (photo credit: John)

Useful links

North Egmont to Holly Hut

https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/taranaki/places/egmont-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/pouakai-circuit/

Holly Hut

https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/taranaki/places/egmont-national-park/things-to-do/huts/holly-hut/

Acknowledgements

Thanks to our wonderful Leader Anne who did more than lead and organise – she taught us how to use a PLB and made paying attention and learning to work out where we are on a map fun! And, most importantly gave us double dessert! Mihi nui to Transport Officer Fiona for organising the van and for being so understanding about the low speed car park incident.. And to our Emergency Contact Barry for checking we made it back.

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