Taranaki, A Loop Walk

A late arrival to the north Egmont visitor centre saw us setting up a free camp in the car park area. …nice and easy, although a tad busy in the early hours as all the summit climbers arrived in the dark.

It was a clear and mild night, 3 of us under the club fly and 3 in their tents, those of us under the fly awoke to a pink sunrise as the fly collapsed in the night, sorry Weimin…

The morning proved to be dry but with low cloud hugging the peak of Taranaki.

We set off after breakfast, it was a steady climb up to the track. We walked [some scrambling is required on this track] beneath the towering columns of the Dieffenbach cliffs, the mist and drizzle obscured most of the views and erosion scars from past volcanic action …. Still by the time we had reached Holly Hut the sun was out and we were putting on the sun block. Lunch and then a few of us walked to the Bells Falls waterfall, a mere 30 minute side trip, it was in full flow by the way!

We checked out the flora and fauna, took a few pics and then continued on to Pouaki Hut via the Ahukawakawa swamp/wetland area. We were rewarded with a warm afternoon and a lovely show of colours from the tussock and grasses- we traversed the boardwalks and walked up to the ridge and through a forest of mountain cedars. After roughly 4.5 to 5 hours from the car park, we reached the rather full, 16 bunk, Pouaki hut….the mist and rain the finally descended upon us. Views were not great, we were clagged in!

After Andrei’s Tuna surprise for dinner and lots of chockie bic’s we hit he hay…the snorer’s in one room and a few of us in the other! The next morning we took the obligatory picture of Mt Taranaki reflected in the Pouaki Tarn, it was a clear day and great colours once again. After we had walked across the open tussock land we started our decent on one of DOC’s longest wooden trail systems surely?

Eventually we entered the lowland forest covered in moss and lichen, a swing bridge across the Waiwhakaiho River took us back to the track and the road end or the visitor centre further on. Back by 1.30pm and homeward bound in the van by 3pm.

Thanks to all and our leader for a great weekend away in the Naki.

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