Waipakihi River – Kaimanawa Forest Park

Waipakihi Valley

Waipakihi River - Kaimanawa Forest Park

Today's hike was one of those where we left a lot to chance.

The aim was to head to the Waipakihi hut from Mount Urchin, but were being all spontaneous about it. To be honest we hadn't read up on it much and the weather wasn't being particularly kind to us either. At some point in the past, I had downloaded a gpx file of the routes to Waipakihi hut onto my Backcountry Navigator (topo map app) on my phone, so this acted as our guide.

We...

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Around the Mountain Ruapehu – Day 3

lahar round the mountain rangipo tinytramper

Around the Mountain Ruapehu - Day 3

This morning the weather gave us a window of opportunity to get off the mountain. The forecast was fine with lighter winds until around 11am, before more gales and thunder storms were due to set in. We took the chance and woke at 5.30am for a 6.30 start. After surprisingly decent sleep and a museli bar breakfast, we headed off across the Rangipo Desert towards the Waihohonu hut.

Rangipo hut to Waihohonu hut

We felt pretty good as...

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Around the Mountain Ruapehu – Day 2

Around the Mountain Ruapehu - Day 2

We woke early to a cloudy morning on a day which turned out to be the worst day's tramping I've ever done.

The day started well enough, with a good breakfast, and that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you put your warm socks and shoes on. They had dried out nicely by the fire overnight. We left Mangaturuturu hut at 7.30am but within 15 minutes were wet again as we crossed the first river of the day.

Mangaturuturu hut to Mangaheuheu...

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Around the Mountain Ruapehu – Day 1

Around the Mountain Ruapehu - Day 1

The hike 'around the mountain Ruapehu' in New Zealand's central North Island is something I've wanted to do for a while now. The planned route for this hike was to incorporate two trails. Firstly the Round the Mountain (Ruapehu) track from Whakapapa Village, in an anti-clockwise direction around Ruapehu. Secondly the Tongariro Northern Circuit up and over part of the famous Tongariro Crossing, past Ngauruhoe and Tongariro and back to...

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Tama Lakes Track – Whakapapa Village Walking Tracks

Lower Tama Lake

The Tama Lakes Track - Tongariro National Park

The last time I stepped foot on the Tama Lakes walk, was in 30 degree January heat on the ‘Tussock’s Traverse’ trail run a couple of years ago. This time, thankfully, I was walking the beautiful 17km loop on a glorious, clear spring day. This made the experience very much more pleasant. The walk is one of many you can do around Whakapapa Village in New Zealand’s volcanic Central North Island. It is an offshoot of the Taranaki...

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Mount Urchin Track – Kaimanawa Forest Park

Mount Urchin Track Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe

Mount Urchin Track

The Mount Urchin track is a beauty, and it’s one of those walks where you get epic views for comparatively little effort. It is 6.6kms return - there and back along the same trail - with an approx 500m climb from around 800m to 1390m. You will find it in the Kaimanawa Forest Park, about 15kms South of Turangi in the central plateau area of New Zealand’s North Island. From Turangi drive South on the SHI and after around 15kms take a left onto Kaimanawa road....

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