Not many words at all today, but more pictures than usual. I’ve been busy with my main project and took 7 youth up to Mount Hobson (Hirakimata) over a 3 day hike via Kaiarara and South Fork Tracks. So let’s start with a rare picture of Ben Island himself…
As I mentioned in the previous post, spending a night at the D.O.C. Mt Heale Hut on Mount Hobson is a great idea. The hut has toilet, water, bunk bed and gas facilities and you’ll appreciate the beautiful views.
Let me begin with the key details for this track before writing about my own experience. The start of Kaiaraara Track forks off Forest Road (on the Port FitzRoy side, follow Aotea Road until the end. There is a parking area.) and it will take you about 3-4 hours to reach the summit of Hirakimata. The track rises steadily with a large portion of it climbing up wooden staircases that have been built to preserve the ecosystem. Whit an average level of fitness you can hike up and down the track in half a day carrying a day pack, but it might be a better idea to spend a night at Mount Heale Hut (D.O.C. Mt Heale Hut). An ideal spot to begin your adventure would be the Kaiaraara Hut (D.O.C. Kaiaraara Hut). You will experience indigenous and exotic forest, maybe spot or at least hear (endangered) fauna, cross several hanging bridges, observe historic kauri dams and be rewarded with a beautiful and extensive overview of the Hauraki Gulf and Great Barrier Island. In addition, another rewarding factor, you will physically feel your leg muscles and remember the somewhat challenging steady climb. Add South Fork Track to your itinerary and you’ll experience a beautiful loop tramping track rated amongst the highest in New Zealand.
Sebi and Jani, friends living in Germany I met in New Zealand about 5 years ago, contacted me a few months ago and told me they were coming on holiday to New Zealand and were quite keen to come and visit me here on Great Barrier Island. So, we kind of got a plan together, they would arrive here via ferry and stay for 4 nights before leaving via plane to Auckland and then to the South Island. At the moment, they are in the Motueka region, hiking in the Abel Tasman National Park. After that, they are going to Queenstown/Glenorchy where they’ll be doing the Routeburn Track followed by the Caples Track. Continue reading Friends from Germany