The Pouakai Circuit, Taranaki, New Zealand
What a stunning getaway this was. Located in the Mount Egmont National Park, we parked our car at the visitor center with everything we needed for 3 days away. We began our walk at 14:30 and then arrived at the Holly Hut at 17:30, so roughly 3 hours or so!!
The first day was a constant climb, up a rustic track leading us along the mountain ridges and then around the base of this massive volcano. With light fading, we made great pace on the flats and we then arrived at the Hut before dark. With our bags off our back, we made a fire and had our dinner served hot, any food was going to taste delicious and it did!
The following morning, after breakfast was made, we headed off to the falls which were only 45 minutes from the hut through dense native bush, we could hear the sound of water crashing down from afar. As we took a view of what we heard it was incredible!
We decided to fill up our drink bottles in the freshwater stream and enjoyed the natural spectacle.
My friend Cam and I picked up our backpacks upon our return from the falls and we made light work of the hike along the flat wetlands. We arrived at the Pouakai Hut in the early afternoon to make a big batch of coffee and enjoy a leisurely lunch.
For sunset, we headed down to the Tarn which was just gorgeous. Here we witnessed the horizon changing colors creating this beautiful reflection for all of us to enjoy. We took extra layers and shared this experience of the light fading on the great volcano. Soon it was freezing cold and so we headed back to the hut for dinner. When night fell we ventured outside again to catch a glimpse of the stars and tried to capture the Milky-way on our cameras.
At the crack of dawn the next morning, we awoke above the clouds to expansive views that expanded to Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngarahoe. This orange glow outlined these amazing mountainscapes. Soon after breakfast, we were on our way back to the carpark, following a track through some dense bush. Gently swaying pacing across the swing bridges, we witnessed some tranquil streams running below. Around midday, we were back at the car park looking back on what was a wicked few days.
- 2 x Water bottles
- Food + snacks
- Hiking boots
- Waterproof jacket
- 2 x Gas canisters
This mountain is something special! The views were extraordinary. The vastness of these landscapes were incomprehensible. The weather was as good as one could imagine for the autumn time in May. The trip as a whole… UNFORGETTABLE.
It’s hard to find a lowlight here. The whole trip was a big win. Actually, I have one, I was trying to take a photo of something and walked off the track, fell into the wetlands, and then got my boot all wet and muddy! Bummer!
For me, the most incredible part of this journey was witnessing the sunset and sunrise at the tarn. Here we saw all the colors of the rainbow, plus the most perfect reflections! I have to say we were so lucky!
Something I learned
Getting out there exploring your own spaces around you, truly does open your eyes to many new experiences!!
Now for you all who wish to hope to find another great walk to do on the North Island of New Zealand, you can head east to Hawkes Bay and make your way to the summit of Te Mata Peak.
Even further north you can walk high above the crashing waves on the wild west coast out of Auckland. The day hike will definitely get your heart pumping if this did not!
Posted below are some photos from the 3 days on the Pouakai Circuit!
All the best for your hike!