On the morning of Saturday 5th January, myself and Tony Gazley set out for Otaki Forks. Our plan was to walk to the top of Mount Hector, pitch the tent and take photos of the sunset. Wellington had been blessed by awesome weather for the weekend so I was looking forward to getting out onto the tops for the first time.
We took a steady walk up to Mount Hector, stopping off at Field and Kime Huts en route for much needed cuppas. The views on the way up to the top made it more than worth the uphill climb in the heat. No amount of views on the ascent however could have prepared us for what lay ahead at the top.
The views from up there were absolutely incredible. We could see Taranaki, Ruapehu and Tapuae-o-Uenuku as clear as anything and watching the sunset over these, Wellington city and the top of the South Island was an incredible experience.
We were up bright and early on Sunday morning to watch the sunrise and, after breakfast, headed back down to Kime Hut for another cuppa before retracing our steps back down towards Otaki Forks. Arriving at the car park hot and sweaty after a fair few hours of walking in the heat, we took a much needed swim in the river before piling back into the car and heading for home.
Tony assured me that we had been unusually lucky with the weather that weekend and that the views from the tops didn’t often extend beyond a few feet in front of your eyes, let alone a 360 degree panoramic masterpiece. Call it beginners luck if you like, but whatever it is, for the opportunity to take photos of scenery like that, just a hop, skip and jump outside of Wellington, whatever it is, I’ll take it.