Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cape Brett Walkway

Day One. 1275m ascent, 1254 descent

Our first summer hike in NZ, we were looking forward to the extra daylight hours and not having to wrap up after arriving at our destination. The hike starts at the stunning white sand beach of Oke Bay, Rawhiti. We were quickly climbing, to probably the highest point on the track. Most of the track was in bush but every now and then we got glimpses of the Bay of Islands below, Urupukapuka and Roberton Islands the most visible. After the initial climb the track continued along the spine of the peninsula also affording us views of the infamous Whangamumu Bay and Poor Knights Islands in the distance.

After a solid four hours walking we reached the turn off to Deep Water Cove, a lovely secluded beach and where I managed to get stung by a bee. After a quick dip we headed back to the fork in the track and headed for the lighthouse. This section of the track was spectacular. After yet another steep climb we finally caught a glimpse of the end of the peninsula with sheer cliffs plunging into the glistening waters below. The final stretch to the hut was very narrow with a steep drop into the sea to our right. The cliff-top scenery was certainly some of the best I have seen in New Zealand. One final climb and the Hole in the Rock came into view along with the original lighthouse. Our lodging for the evening was tucked into a huge grassy expanse that went all the way to the sea. The hut was one of the Lighthouse keepers old houses.

The other benefit of summer hiking became evident as we took a dip in the sea to refresh ourselves.

Day Two: 1109 ascent, 1135 descent

The only negative about this hike would be the fact that on day two we had to retrace our steps. Given how demanding the hike is this is a daunting prospect fist thing in the morning. Our return journey was somewhat quicker as we didn't venture down to Deep Water Cove.