Lake Dive (and side trips)

We left Wellington on the Friday evening with a small medium-fit group and had the Konini Lodge at Dawson Falls, Egmont National Park to ourselves.

Konini Lodge
The very comfortable Konini Lodge. Photo: Awais

With our expected walking time of 3-4 hours to Lake Dive on Saturday, we had ample time to explore the Dawson Falls and Wilkies Pools loop tracks (30-60 minutes each). We were not quite ready to start our main tramp, so we stopped at the Dawson Falls Lodge for hot drinks and snacks.

Dawson Falls
Dawson Falls. Photo: Jamie
Group shot at Dawson Falls
Group shot at Dawson Falls. Photo: Scott
Wilkies Pools
Wilkies Pools. Photo: Awais
Wilkies Pools
Amy and Sarah check out a pool. Photo: Awais

With high winds forecast and snow expected on the upper level tracks, we stuck to the lower track, leaving the Dawson Falls carpark around 11:30am. We were well sheltered from the wind and managed to catch a few glimpses of Mt Taranaki throughout the afternoon as the cloud gradually cleared.

Greenery on Lake Dive Lower Track
Greenery, and Scott, on Lake Dive Lower Track. Photo: Awais
Admiring the scenery on Lake Dive Lower Track
Admiring the scenery on Lake Dive Lower Track. Photo: Awais
Group shot with Fanthams Peak
Group shot with Fanthams Peak. Photo: Scott

The track’s in need of a bit of TLC, with many of the steps being washed out and becoming more hazardous than helpful when wet. We did however come across a few stacks of building materials on the track, so it looks like DOC’s on top of it. At a good steady pace and stopping for lunch, we arrived at Lake Dive Hut about 3.5 hours later.

Fanthams Peak reflected in Lake Dive
Fanthams Peak reflected in Lake Dive. Photo: Avais
Lake Dive Hut
Lake Dive Hut. Photo: Awais
Fanthams Peak and Mt Taranaki as seen from Lake Dive
Fanthams Peak and Mt Taranaki as seen from Lake Dive. Photo: Scott

There was still plenty of daylight left so we decided to tramp up to the upper Lake Dive track and hopefully see some snow. An hour or so later, we reached the signpost and were instantly hit with the forecasted high winds. We took in the glorious view, stretching out across Lake Dive to the sea. Apparently, the small hill behind Lake Dive is known as the southern ‘beehive’, formed from lava oozing from the side of the main volcano. One of our trampers suggested ‘lava knobs’ was a more appropriate name; something for DOC to consider.

Fanthams Peak
On the way to Upper Lake Dive Track. Photo: Awais
Looking down on one of the Beehives at Lake Dive Hut
One of the Beehives by Lake Dive Hut. Photo: Ashley
Crossroad between Upper Lake Dive Track and Lower Lake Dive Track
Crossroad between Upper Lake Dive Track and Lower Lake Dive Track. Photo: Awais

Slightly behind schedule, leaving at 8:20am the next morning, we boosted it back to the carpark in under three hours and picked up the medium-fit trip.

Tramper walking over a stream
James walking over a stream. Photo: Awais
Walking down a ladder
One of several ladders on the track. Photo: James

With allowance for plenty of stops for driver changes and snacks, we arrived back at the Wellington train station around 5:30pm. This was an excellent trip with a few of us getting back into overnight tramping after a few months off (damn you, Covid!). We really eased into the main event, with a few interesting side trips which made the overall trip very enjoyable.

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