Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Completing the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk

The Lake Waikaremoana hike is one of New Zealand’s designated ‘Great Walks’ and covers nearly 50km around a lake formed only 2,200 years ago when a huge landslide blocked a substantial river gorge to the north west of Napier. The lake is in the middle of dense native forests, an area of unspoilt natural beauty and strong Maori culture, though today its apparently placid waters deliver about one percent of the country’s electricity via three hydro-electric power stations built in the late 1940’s. 

Irene from Kiapa suggested the hike and did some superb organisational work so the crews of Maunie, Sel Citron (Damian and Kerry) and Peregrine (Bill and Maria) just had to organise the borrowing of backpacks, sleeping bags and camping stoves to take part. It’s a four-day hike, you see, with overnight stays in DOC (Department of Conservation) huts en-route.  Just getting to the place is a challenge – miles and miles of twisty gravel roads – but it was certainly worth the effort! There's a good map showing the route and the location of the huts HERE and there follow a few photos to give you some idea of the trip:

The route was well-marked though the timings were sometimes optimistic

Very wet conditions on Day 2 as we walked close to the lake's shores

We were very pleased to arrive at the Waiopaoa Hut after a walk of nearly 20km....

... and, as the rain finally lifted, a swim in the Lake was very refreshing

The wood burning stove was well-stoked to dry out walking boots and clothing!

Sleeping arrangements were pretty basic - two giant bunk beds, each with about 12 mattresses and at least a couple of noisy snorers. We didn't sleep well for the first two nights but after that we were so tired that we could have slept through anything.
 On Day 3 and 4 we left the shoreline and climbed up to 1100m to Panekire Hut. Thankfully the weather cleared to give us some fantastic views:

Penekire Hut at the summit

Inside the hut

Early morning mist clearing from the lake
We just had to see the Bald Knob!

Quite a view, indeed, at the Bald Knob
Dianne taking it all in

Lower down the track - the Balk Knob is the escarpment to the left
Walking down through the beech forest

The hiking team - back row (l to r): Bill, Maria, Damian, Kerry and Irene. Great company to be with.
Thanks in particular to Irene for organising the trip and to the rest of the team for being such fun; we had a brilliant time and feel remarkably good after it all!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Gram and Di, your photos tell it all, we sure had a blast didn't we...miss you guys and special thanks for the gear tow....absolutely wonderful photos love the morning mist one and also the butterfly one...all great, you have a keen eye and great camera....hehehehehehe....love, Maria and Capt Bill