Monday, November 29, 2010

The Boys' Weekend...

Well, I finally took a weekend off work, my first in 6 months, and went on an overnight tramp with some mates...

We started off from Hamilton in the early hours and spent the morning fishing in the Tongariro River, which is famous for its trout...

Despite seeing quite a few fish in the river, we didn't catch a thing. - but then it was midday. Not having time to stay for a twilight fish we carried on south towards Tongariro, parked up, and set out on the Urchin Trail up over the Kaimanawa Ranges.

Dominated by the Kaimanawa mountain ranges, the Kaimanawa Forest Park encompasses a vast (77,348 hectares) largely unmodified expanse of native forest, shrublands and tussock grasslands. It was gazetted in 1969 and is managed to protect and conserve soil and water, native vegetation, wildlife and scenic values.

It lies south-east of Taupo and extends from Tongariro National Park in the west to the Kaweka Ranges in the east.

It was a blisteringly hot day.

Below: Lake Taupo in the distance, from the first summit.
The trail starts near to lake level.

It then winds its way up through stunning native bush...

before breaking out of the bushline into rocky alpine terrain...

from the first summit we hiked over the ranges below...

to the Waipakihi Valley river flats below...

After a long day's tramping, and a futile effort at stalking deer on the river flats, we settled down to a roaring camp fire and a rough meal of Fillet Mignon with seasonal vegetables and a bottle of Shiraz before scoffing down some creme brulee and settling in for a night of port and cigars under a cloudless sky enblazoned with stars (talk about slumming it!).

We forgot the marshmellows though!

The state forest is home to much wildlife, including Sika deer

and wild horses, known as Kaimanawa horses, which are protected.

for more information visit the Department of Conservation website.


  1. I saw moss near the river. Wild horses, how wonderful. Who and how did you have that meal? Are you pulling my leg? Amazing photo's
    you have some beautiful country.
    I have always wanted to see it. I saw a movie as a kid called "Green Dolphin Street", with VanHeflan
    and Lana Turner. It's all about your country. Years later my husband played the song for me in a Jazz place we owned. Great music.
    Enjoyed your post as always.

  2. really beautiful scenery - what a great trip that must have been!

  3. Wonderful post with fantastic photos of gorgeous scenery. Thanks very much for this. And to top it off with such a dinner...

    Quite the contrast to the Thanksgiving stuffings that took place here in the USA!


  4. Breathtaking! and we are freezing in my neck of the woods!

  5. You really know how to camp in style, David!

    I love that breathtaking view from the first summit.

  6. wonderful photographs especially that deer and the horses.a well deserved break and hopefully it refueled you-sometimes it seems a respite needs to be followed quickly by another. pgt


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