Thursday, 28 April 2011

New Zealand Snapshot

Not really in SE Qld I know, but I thought this was worth mentioning anyway. I recently got the chance to take a short trip to New Zealand. Of course we didn't let the opportunity to do some hiking and camping go past. We only had time to spend a few days doing these activities but it was well worth it.

Tongiraro National Park:
I had been really looking forward to going here. The park is the oldest National Park in NZ and is based around three volcano's one of which, Mt. Ruapehu, is the highest mountain in the North Island at 2797m and bigger than anything we have in Australia. We had been hoping to do the most popular walk in the park, the Tongiraro Alpine Crossing. However, on arrival it became fairly obvious that this wasn't going to be possible. The forecast for the weather was looking fairly bleak with a high chance of snow, high winds and low temperatures. So we decided that we'd play it by ear the next day and probably do one of the shorter walks.

Well the next day we awoke to freezing rain and wind at the campsite but by the time we packed up and reached the ski village this had turned to snow. We decided to head up the now closed road to where the ski lifts start and head back along the Silica Rapids track. This was a very memorable walk and was my first look at real snow. The weather did get pretty hairy with some very strong winds but it was all worth it. Here are a few photo's.

Bruce Road
Silica Rapids Walk

Silica Rapids Walk

Waihi Beach:
The next day we were in for a massive change in weather. We spent a day and a half at Waihi Beach on the North coast. We spent most of the day doing a walk along the cliffs above the water to Orokawa Bay and then up off the beach to William Wright Falls. This was a beautiful and fairly easy going walk with great views out to the Bay of Plenty from the cliffs. Orokawa Bay itself is only accessible by foot but there was still a handful of people relaxing on the beach.

The side track up to the falls went through rainforest with many creek crossings along the way. The falls were picturesque despite the small amount of water and we stopped for lunch here before heading back the way we'd come.












William Wright Falls