Summer 2014

A final post continuing in the theme of ‘what I did in the holidays’ before normal programming returns. A somewhat Matinee Idol to the usual Morning Report. Below a photo essay of Pearl’s silver qualifying tramp for the Duke of Ed program – The Tongariro Northern Circuit.

Day 0
We arrived from Wellington on a beautiful clear evening with a perfect view of Ruapehu behind The Chateau. Girls being very impressed with said Chateau, we decided as a ‘treat’ to pop in after dinner for a $36 round of lemonades and wine. In true NZ Iconic Destination style, it featured spectacularly bad and slow service, complete with a ‘stuck CD’ soundtrack which when pointed out, was greeted with ‘Yes!’.

Splendid!TheChateau
Day 1
Overnight stay at the Whakapapa holiday camp, which took a little waking up from – Betty. I’m talking to you. First day walk is from Whakapapa Village to Oturere hut.

WakeupBetsTheStartStart of the track , Ngauruhoe on one side, Ruapehu on the other. Stunning.

MountainesOnBothSidesLower Tama Lake.
LowerTamaLakeWaihohonu hut has got to be one of the most primo DOC huts out there. Massive picture windows with views to die for, solar hot water, solar lights, loads of bench space, loads of tables inside and decks outside with more tables for endless games of ‘speed’… Endless!Hut1a Hut1b Hut1cGreat bathing facilities too.WashingFacilities
Day 2
Waihohonu hut to Oturere hut. A mere three hours but covers some expansive scenery.Day2 Day2bNgauruhoe In BGHut2aOturere hut was not quite the hut of the night before and featuring a full house of wet trampers by the end of the evening and a kitchen smaller than ours (really) it was a bit of a trick rotating table and seating space as everyone cooked and ate. The evening’s entertainment were two German gals who planned a day walk of the Crossing in singlets and short shorts but took a wrong turn, hit the bad weather and arrived at our hut in the dark soaking wet with nothing but an empty juice bottle. Luckily there were a couple of lovely young Israeli boys who had spare clothes and plenty of room on their bunks to keep them warm.

Ah, yoof!

WashingFacilitiesHut2Failed to take a camera closer but tonight’s bathing facilities were brought to you by the letters ‘freezing waterfall’… yikes, it was dang cold but again beautiful.

Day 3
Not quite as splendid a day as the previous two. Torrential rain and hideous winds overnight (not what we leave Wellington for) and some mad tourists were out there camping. MorningThree b MorningThreeSetting out – strangely the camera fails to pick up the strafing rain.SettingoffDay3Day3a Day3b Day3c Day3d EmeraldLake1 EmeraldLake2And if you look backwards from the summit you’ll have a stunning view of the three Emerald Lakes and the large Blue Lake in the background. On  a clear day one can see Taranaki.
We couldn’t see Taranaki unfortunately.SummitViews Or anything… SummitViews2 SummitViews3 SouthCraterThe turn off to the final hut, 20 minutes from the carpark where Pearl and I were greeted with the happy question ‘Hut or pie?’
We declined to choose the ‘reheat’ last night’s leftover spag bol in the tramping hut, over the more desirable option of ‘get the hell out of the dodge into a dry car and get a pie from the dairy’ thanks.
Hut or Pie For those of you who like a map, my lovely assistant is indicating the closest exits.The EndBack to the house project tomorrow.

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