Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cooks Cove Walkway, Tolaga Bay

A short run of around an hour through some coastal bush, farmland and beach scenery. The track climbs steeply from the carpark through farmland before reaching a viewpoint looking down on Tolaga Bay and Cooks Cove. Next is a great section through bush on a well-formed track eventually emerging on the beach next to the so-called hole in the rock. A short run north leads to Cooks Cove and south to a monument for Captain Cook marking his landing in the Cove. We then retraced our steps back to the carpark along the same track.

Ruapane Track, Waikaremoana-674m Altitude Gain

Stunning run on the Ruapane Track, plenty of wetlands and a visit to the crystal clear waters of Lake Waikareiti. The track climbs steeply from the Aniwaniwa visitors center on a well formed track to emerge at Lake Waikareiti. Then skirting the eastern bank of the lake before veering down into the bush and past the first of seven wetlands. Beautiful running, with stunning single track all the way. On reaching Lake Ruapane the track descended and returned to the visitors center with occasional views of Lake Waikaremoana and the Hawkes Bay.

Lake Waikaremoana-Hopuruahine to Tapuaenui Campground

A flat run from Hopuruahine landing through to Tapuaenui campground. Nice start crossing the Hopuruahine river via the Hopuruahine suspension bridge then through some head high grass and Toi Toi and emerging lakeside. Then a series of undulations and stream crossings before reaching Whanganui Hut. The track then hugged the lake, with plenty of crystal clear water and tiny bays. On reaching the campground we re-traced our steps back to the car.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Panekire Bluff, Lake Waikaremoana

Lake Waikaremoana, 3 hours 22 running time, 1025 altitude gain.

Starting from the Onepoto end of the Great Walk the climb begins immediately through some classic NZ bush. The track hugs the cliff all the way to Panekire Bluff giving the occasional view to the lake below. We reached the Bluff viewpoint in under and hour and were rewarded with stunning views. The next section undulated to Panekire Hut, providing the occasional view of the Hawkes Bay and also of the inlets that the remainder of the Waikaremoana track hugs. The return journey retracing our steps took 45 minutes less.

Redwoods Rotorua

Redwoods Forest, 4 hours running time, 1274m altitude gain.

34K run through Redwoods Forest, a good mix of single track and forestry roads. The track wound up behind the visitors center through actual Redwoods on single track giving views over Rotorua and the lake (shame it was bucketing with rain). Then headed along forestry road in the direction of the Blue Lake, the final stretch before we hit the lake was a stunning trail, we then headed along the northern bank of the Green Lake. The final stretch back to the start was a tad monotonous but did finish with a great section of single trail intertwined with the extensive Mt Bike trails.