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.
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.
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,
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!
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.
North Egmont to Holly Hut
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.