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