Author Topic: Mt Hikurangi  (Read 871 times)

Mt Hikurangi
« on: December 27, 2011, 09:04:02 AM »
Getting There: The Tapuaeroa Rd turn off from SHWY-35 is just North of the Ruatoria/Te Puia Springs intersection but the Mt is not sign posted.  The Pahikiroa Station carpark is 30Km from SHWY 35 and is located across a private bridge.  A DOC sign indicates a 10Km hike estimatation 4-7Hrs but it took us 2Hr 8Min leaving at 6:30pm and arriving just before night fall.  The track is an unrelenting gradient being a 99% gravel vehicle farm track which requires good fitness if not taking micro breaks.  The hut is very back country but well provisioned, is poorly insulated & cold so take paper/axe to light the pot billy.
Summit Track: We left in the wee dark hours of 3:30am to reach the trig summit for the sunrise at 5:40am (2Hr 8Min again).  For a safer night accent a 40+ Lumas providing 30m+ of visabilty torch is highly advised and we were still slowed just trying to locate each widely spaced reflective marker at night in low cloud conditions.  While most of the track is bush/alpine terrain a steep rock slide valley just before the summit requires much respect, it was a freezing wind tunnel so I recommend gloves which may also provide protection against the prickly Spaniard plants seemingly placed at each hand hold location.
Whakairo Carvings: A must see located just below the hut at 1000m is a collection of impressive crafted statues of Maui and his 8 Whanau so if the summit cloud wont let you take some rewarding pics then ensure you get a record of these a real credit to the artists, unfortunatly there are no info boards.