We headed off for Egmont National Park on Friday night in good weather and good spirits and, after a hefty drive, were lucky enough to catch a view of the mighty Mt Taranaki as we drove past in the dark. After a good rest overnight at the local backpackers, we set off from the North Visitor centre and tramped up the Razorback track through montane forest and subalpine scrub. A brief 500m ascent brought us out onto the holly hut track which presented a brief obstacle known as the Boomerang Slip. This is a loose shingle, scree slope which we crossed one-by-one, not a good place to go for a slide.
After that brief moment of excitement, we continued north-west along the track, through atmospheric misty conditions, viewing lava columns along the way until we reached the ample 32-bunk Holly Hut. We were spoiled having this palatial space all to ourselves. We had a yummy dinner and desert and headed off to bed with happy tummies.
In the morning, we headed back up the same track before turning off to head down the Kokowai track, and after a brief section above the bush-line, we were back in the forest, clambering down numerous ladders before finally emerging back onto Egmont Road. A short walk along the road had us back at our rental car where we said good-bye to the iconic mountain. There are so many tracks in the park and we looked forward to coming back another day to explore some more!