Mt Pirongia Tramp 2007

Mt Pirongia is the main landscape feature just to the west of Hamilton. It's very close to Auckland but seems almost forgotten.

Mike, Regina and I headed down on the Saturday morning and planned to spend the night at the hut as always taking tents just in case all 6 bunks were full.

On a previous visit we thought we had taken the wrong track as it was quite rugged and took under longer than expected. With this in mind I checked all the signs and times and we set off up the Mahaukura track.

It was an overcast day with the cloud trapping in the heat so it was going to be a sweaty one. Shortly after starting the walk I had a nagging feeling my car was unlocked and the feeling didn't fade so after running back to check I discovered I had made the right call, locked my car and returned to the others.

Not long after we discovered we were on the correct track the previous trip mostly following a ridge line and using the roots of plants to assist. It took us the planned 6hrs with numerous stops as we weren't in a hurry.

We made it in time to reserve our spots in the hut but since we had our gear and more people were arriving we used our tents.

First things first, remove the boots

That evening at the hut from just under the 1000M summit the sunset was spectacular lighting up the forest and sky alike.

Sunset from Pirongia

In the morning it was much the same with a lovely sunrise and crystal clear sky. After a leisurely breakfast we headed back up to the summit before taking after track down. We could see all the harbours below the mountain and all the mountain ranges across the central North Island including Taranaki, Ruapehu, Nurahoe, Tongariro, Kaimai's, Hunua's and Coromandal.

Looks at Tirohanga from Pirongia

With views all the way down we took the Tirohanga then Ruapane tracks getting back to the car in about 5hrs before heading back to Auckland.  

 

Interesting facts about New Zealand

  • Lake Taupo, the big lake in the middle of Zealand's North Island is the worlds largest volcanic crater.
  • If you were to lay New Zealand on a map of Europe, Invergagill would be about Zurich in Switzerland and Cape Reinga would be 300kms into Africa.
  • Famous New Zealander's include Sir Edmund Hillary who was the first person to climb Mount Everest and Ernest Rutherford who was the first to split the atom and of course the first person to fly Richard Pearse.
  • In 1987 New Zealand became a nuclear-free country free from nuclear weapons and power. Of course this meant the US Government downgraded us from a ally to a friend (C'est la vie).
  • The Kiwifruit unlike the Kiwi (confused by European's as the fruit rather than the bird or person) was imported from China. When I was young this was called the Chinese Gooseberry.
  • Some of the more interesting New Zealand inventions include the Tranquilliser Dart Gun, Milking Machines and Ear tags for farming, Disposable Syringes, Bungy Jumping, Blokart's and Zorbing.

Update You may also want to have a look at Interesting facts about Holland

 

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