This blog is about my travels. At home in New Zealand, in other parts of Oceania, North, Central and South America and in Europe.
The Tararuas tramping club was running a Jumbo/Powell trip so I decided to sign up. The weather forecast was a bit iffy for that weekend, but we still decided to go. One of the benefits of this trip is that it is easy to turn back if the weather looks bad, and the exposed section over the tops is relatively short. We headed out on Saturday morning. We got to Atiwhakatu hut by lunchtime, and headed off through the beech trees. Just as we popped out of the bushline, we reached Jumbo hut.
The next day, we headed off over the tops towards Mt. Holdworth, and then towards Powell hut. It was reasonably and windy and cloudy, but we got to the top of Holdworth peak, and shortly afterwards, the clouds parted, giving us a great view of the rest of the Tararuas and the sea.
A group of us headed up from Wellington to Mt Taranaki for a weekend trip. We stayed at Tahurangi lodge on Saturday night, its a great lodge for headed up by the usual North ridge route on Taranaki. It was a bit cloudy, but other than that the weather was nice, and it was predicted to be a bit nicer the next day.
The next day we were up nice and early and headed out of the lodge after dark. We were one of the earliest groups out, but it wasn't long before more other people were on the track as well. The track on Taranaki now has numbered poles which are great for working out how far there is to go when you are heading up. We got to the top at about lunch, and then headed down to the lodge again for afternoon, and then back to the car. It was a great trip.
Just outside of Wellington is Pukerua Bay. It is a rocky beach on the West Coast that overlooks Kapiti Island, and when it is clear, the South Island. A group of us headed out there on a Sunday morning for some climbing. It is still a fun place to climb, the sea was nearby and there were a whole lot of bright red jellyfish washed ashore. As the morning went on the tide started coming in further so we headed back, and at some points had to time crossing the beach to avoid the waves.
The Eastern side of Mt Ruapehu is a great place to go rock climbing in summer. There are a whole lot of trad climbing routes, and the place to stay there is the fantastic Tukino alpine club lodge. I headed up for the NZAC annual rock meet.
The first day we were there the weather was really pretty bad. Undeterred, we went for a walk, but it really wasn't that great so we made our way back to the lodge. The alpine club had done an awesome job on the catering, so we ate well, drank a lot of cups of tea and helped out around the lodge.
The next day we woke to fantastic weather. We set off from the lodge and started climbing. Helen and I actually managed to get in an (unplanned) first ascent (we recorded details in the lodge first ascents book). It was an interesting route!
The next day the weather was even better again so we headed off a little further this time, not that it was a very long walk either. Tukino is such a great place to climb, the Tukino lodge is amazing, and there are a whole lot of very uncrowded crags to choose from.
I headed to Otaki forks over the weekend but headed north this time, towards Waitewaewae hut. I crossed a swing bridge on the Otaki river. I headed up the track which had quite a lot of windfall to clamber over. There are also a lot of beautiful Kiokio / Crown ferns, translucent Heruheru / Prince of Wales ferns and Raurenga /Kidney ferns, species we don't get up in the northern half of the north Island. There are also stands of mature Rimu trees which are hundreds of years old.
I got to the hut by the evening. It is a nice hut, maintained by the Hutt Valley Tramping club, and certainly spacious enough for large groups.
In the morning it was drizzly and rainy. Not really rainy but a bit grey and overcast. It was still great to be outside though.
I had just arrived in Wellington and decided to go for a day trip from Otaki forks carpark in the Tararuas to Waiotauru hut. It was good weather, so I thought I'd go for a day walk.
It was a lovely day and the rata were in full bloom thanks to the conservation efforts in the area.
I got to rustic Waiotauru hut by about lunchtime before heading back. As they say, an adventure is not about the destination, but about the journey.
The plan had been to climb lots of peaks in Arthurs pass, but alas the weather was bad again. Nevermind, we headed to the Oxford forest, not far from Christchurch.
We stayed the night at Blackridge hut. It had a toasty fire and was a very cozy spot. A lot of people stayed there overnight. The next day we headed over to Salmon Creek biv and then looped back via Blackridge hut then down to Wharfdale and out to the carpark.
This was another midwinter trip with the ladies. The weather wasn't the greatest, but we had a fun time at Tukino lodge on the Eastern side of Ruapehu. The weather wasn't good enough for attempting peaks, but it was perfect for building snow shelters. We built a large igloo off to one side of the ski field. It was the work of many hands and apparently stayed up a long time after we had gone.
In September, a friend and I decided to go on a trip to Whirinaki in the central north Island. The track is called the Moerangi loop and is popular with mountain bikers. It goes past three huts, Moerangi hut, Rogers hut and Skips hut. Whirinaki is known for its huge, ancient podocarp trees. Because many of them are so tall, they are also safe habitats for rare birds like Kaka and kakariki.
One of the highlights on the trip were the frequent sightings of Whio/Blue duck. We saw nine of them in total. They have a haunting, whistling call, and do tend to blend in quite well with their grey / blue surroundings. They like to live in pristine, fast running water, which makes Whirinaki an ideal habitat for them.
This was a great ladies trip to the Puketeraki range in Canterbury. We had planned to climb a peak in Arthur's pass that weekend but very high winds meant that it was a much better idea to go tramping instead. We had lunch at Tarn hut. It got windier and windier up on the tops. The wind was so strong we were battling against it and trying not to get blown over. My sunglasses nearly got blown off while I was wearing them. It was a relief to get back down to the bush line. We also dropped down into the Valley and some of us waded across the stream to bag Young man stream hut as well. By the time we got back to our cars after 10 hours it was dark but the wind was still really strong. It was a great trip with a great group of ladies!
The next morning four of us drove over to Castle Hill. It is a beautiful place, basically a bunch of mysterious rock formations that are perfect for bouldering. It rained in the morning but happily the sun came out and the boulders dried off really quickly. So we had a fun afternoon bouldering in the sun in an amazing place.
I am a traveller from New Zealand. My blog is to inform friends and family about my adventures. I hope you enjoy it.