Onto the Mountains

Hamilton to National Park
Day 45
1156km

What a time to be alive! Te Araroa has now taken me into the mighty Waikato passing through Mount Pirongia, Purorua Forest and the Tongariro National Park!

Upon leaving Hamilton I was initiated into the popular Electric Fencing Club comprised primarily by Te Araroa walkers by walking into a live fence meant for livestock at the arboretum just on the outskirts of Dinsdale, Hamilton.

Before I knew it I was summiting Pirongia for the third time and experienced my first hut experience of the TA. The new hut which is located 30 minutes from the summit is a 16 bunk shelter with amazing facilities after a hard climb. Upon descending the mountain the following day our group encountered knee deep mud again! Having had such bad experiences before in the Ratea Forest within the Northland region, I was surprised to not only come out injury free but enjoy the overall absurdity concerning the state of the trail. Needless to say I am not afraid to get dirty on the trail anymore.

Following Pirongia we descended into the Purorua Forest to reach our 1000km mark of the trail. Costumes were bought in Te Kuiti for the occasion with photos to boast that can be found somewhere on Facebook!

After a well deserved rest day in Taumarunui we headed to the Tongariro National Park to experience the hordes of Mordor: day hikers. Full length jeans, Nike attire, Adidas accessories were standard issue for the majority. Our group took the initiative to show that you don’t need a brand to be active and proceeded to wear revealing costumes that you would commonly see at a seedy Halloween party.

Today we are a group of 16 TA hikers heading down the Whanganui River for 7 days. What’s in store for us? Trail wedding? Capsizing canoes? Guess you will find out in the following blog!

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