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 was a blisteringly hot day.
Below: Lake Taupo in the distance, from the first summit.
The trail starts near to lake level.
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!).