We headed off for our weekend adventure on friday afternoon, Dean, Rose, Mat and myself, headed off a bit earlier with the intention of stopping at a few places on the way, but in the end we only managed to have time to stop at a cafe in Te kuiti for a bite to eat, and arrived in Ohakune around 5 pm. Dean and I decided to go for a walk around the town, which is very pretty and when we got back Jasmine and Lucy had also arrived. After a quick spa we decided to head of to Waitonga falls around 7pm. Its nice that its summer and we have plenty of daylight.
Well a while ago I was reading a book about 100 waterfalls to visit in New Zealand, and decided I would start checking off the ones I had seen. So when we were planning our trip to the crossing and had a place to stay in Ohakune i figured it was the perfect time to visit 'Waitonga Falls" which came in at number 5 on the list. To get to the falls you travel about 11 kms up the mountain view road, then from the road its around a 45 minute walk, being 7 months pregnant it actually took me 45 minutes but it probably wouldn't take that long otherwise. The walk to the waterfall was most impressive and I was keen to check this out as well as its part of the 'round the mountain' walk which i'm hoping to do next summer. Unfortunately for my companions on the trip I only have the pictures from my camera so most of them are of me, so sorry guys.
(Me, Jaz, rose and lucy)
We reached this plateua bout 20 minutes into the walk, the view was amazing the mountain looked beautiful and the evening lighting was perfect, on our way back the moon even came out.
(Dean, me and Rose)
The walk through the forest up to the plateau was really nice and the trees were full of native birds, I even thought I recognised some of them, thanks to my native bird I phone app, but Im still not confident enough to call them out.
We made our way from the track to the very bottom of the waterfall, and given that the evening was fairly mild, and it wasn't too far back to the car I decided to go under. The water was arctic and instantly numbing and the pressure of it was a lot more than I anticipated, but it felt exhilarating. We then made our way back to the cars and the chalet, we decided to have hot showers and spas before we had dinner, but when we were dressed and ready to go everywhere in town was closed, we were all starving, it could havee been and unpleasant night, but then Ben txted and suggested the 'powder horn' restaurant, which was a bit further up the road, so all was well.
(Dean, Jaz, Carly, Lucy, Mat (foreign), Rose)
This past weekend we decided to do the Tongariro crossing again. We had a foreign friend visiting so we had a good incentive to go. I also wanted to check out a waterfall I had heard about heading up to the Turoa ski field. Our trip was made alot easier by the fact that we had a friend who said we could stay at his (parents) chalet in Ohakune. The trip went as follows:
(from left,Mat, Jaz, Lucy, Rose,Carly, Dean)
Well the weather report said afternoon rain, so you would think that we would have gotten an early start, but we didn't. Even though we had spent the night in Ohakune we didn't get to the beginning of the track till lunch time and it started raining just as we began, so in short we started in typical Cammock style i.e. late and in bad weather. We made it to soda springs in good time and the rain was still intermittant, we stopped and had a banana each then headed up the first incline, again we made good time and the rain was still holding off abit, when we got to the plateau the clouds cleared for a bit and we got a good view of Ngaruahoe. The original plan was to summit Ngaruahoe but the weather closed in again and we wouldn't have been able to see anything from the top so decided to skip it (plus visibility was quite bad) so we carried on to Red Crater.
(Mat, Lucy, Jaz, Rose, Carly, Dean)
We got a brief view of the lakes etc once we reached red crater, but at this point the weather quickly deteriorated and the rain really set in. Here our little fellowship split up...Dean and I decided to walk to the Tongariro summit then head back down the way we came; Lucy, Rose and Mat decided to descend the mountain to the other side and Jasmine said she would go back to get the car and drive around to meet them, so we said our goodbyes and parted. The Tongariro summit was a bit of a waste of time as the rain was heavy the cloud was thick and we couldn't see anything, but Dean and I enjoy each others company so we had a good time. Both Dean and I felt our age when our knees got a bit sore coming down but the thought of the spa back at the chalet spurred us on. The rain actually made for a beautiful setting there were little waterfalls and rivers running everywhere and mountain daisy's all over. I was glad that I had forgone fashion and opted to take my Taiwan scooter poncho, as I remained dry the whole hike except for my shoes which were already wet from the waterfall the night before.
Dean and I got back to the car and headed back to Ohakune and made it just in time to go to the supermarket before it closed where we bought a bunch of discounted deli food (IKnow i'm not meant to eat deli food), some drink and ice-cream (which for some reason I had been craving all day) and went straight back to the chalet and jumped in the spa, being 7 months pregnant I mainly just soaked my legs, but it felt amazing. That night once everyone was back safely had a good soak in the spa and regrouped we headed off to the powder horn restaurant for the second night in a row (they do the best burgers and chips ever) and went to bed. Dean and I got up extra early with surprisingly few aches and headed home to see our litte man "Asher" who we had left behind with Grandma.
Big Thanks to Ben Sheffield and his parents for letting us stay at their chalet and to lucy for organising our trip.