National Park wanders…

National Park wanders…

Home » Landscape » Category: "Tramping"

National Park or Natty Park as the locals call it is does have what seems as its particular weather all to its self. At one time the mountain ski field at Turn can be clear but then at Whakapapa its all socked in with cloud. No wonder there is two fields to choose from. At least one of them hopefully is open during a normal winter with changeable weather.

Was sort of lucky to get some lower level snow on the trails which gives some great contrast and having such socked in weather meant that the crossing wasn’t happening so there were more people wandering about looking for alternative sights. Jus some just don’t follow the code of no jeans in the changeable weather which is a bit of a no no. They get wet and you get cold…

Anyways this is a collection from this visit. All are available with out the watermark and if you want to see BIG just click on the image and it opens in a lightbox.

Click on a pointer and a sample image will show whats there…

Mahuia Rapids

Chateau Tongariro

Taranaki Falls

Schnapps Bar. National Park Village

The Nacky from Natty Park…

The Nacky from Natty Park…

Had to use the Kiwi vernacular as the story headline. Its what the locals call their places.

This is Mount Taranaki from a photoshoot i was doing at National Park. The other shot i got that evening is the Mount Doom moon-rise. A very productive evening…

As per usual all the images are available as prints with-out the watermarks.

8156 nacky from natty sunset web#03 by M Handley.

The Nacky from Natty Park…

Sunrise at Mount Doom …

Sunrise at Mount Doom …

One local in the Schnapps Bar at National Park village mentioned a spot on the road to the skifeild at the top of the bruce which was just awesome for sunrises . Lacking the time to check it out the day before as it was already dark when i finished another shoot the alarm was set for another ridiculous hour again so set of with a bunch of mist everywhere . Hmmm … this is great but always looking for a plus still kept going anyways . Found what i thought the informative local was describing and set up . Bit chilly … its a mountain you know .

Well … that all went well .

Just absolutely really awesome …

Really happy with the efforts that morn …

If you click on the red and black outlined image you can see the mist that was rolling in from the valley on the left towards Ngaururhoe …

6025 natty park sunrise red web#02 by M Handley.

5997 natty park sunrise outline red web#03 by M Handley.

A Coromandel coastal wander …

A Coromandel coastal wander …

I found a track leading to a coastal reserve which is DOC land but the track was seemingly built by the locals . You can always tell a DOC track by the materials and construction . This area was full of surprises . The first was a small stream that ran over the cliff into the sea which had a muddy crossing and hunted for a way to see over the edge but no way to get a cliff side view for a image . Bummer . Anyways onward and the track takes on a heath robinson effect [ old slang meaning something made up to do the job ] with old thick sail rope to hang onto to keep ya from sliding away to the never-nevers … [ more old slang meaning some-where where ya don’t want to end up ] . Very effective …

Anyways following ma nose brings me to a cool coastal look-out . This is facing south down the Coromandel coast towards Whangamata …

Past that and down more slippery slopes … it had been rainy you know … and on to a just awesome cream sandy beach . And nobody else apart from a young couple who were soon gone . Just magic . A pristine Coromandel beach all to myself in the middle of the day … you wouldn’t normally read about it . 

Pohutakawas , creamy sand , a perfect curved beach , even a half decent wave going on and rock features . So cool …

Aparently there is another beach further on but will have to re-explore this trail soon and find it . 

But for now here is some visuals for ya … 

Just click on any image to make it HUGE ….

7449onemana tramp cliffs web by M Handley.

7576onemana tramp beach web by M Handley.

7471onemana tramp rocky web#02 by M Handley.

These images are from a iPhone just to illustrate my bad story-telling … well they are supposed to be worth a few hundred words hopefully .
2016-04-02 12.03.50 HDR-2 by .
Old rope and wire hand-rails …
2016-04-02 13.36.24 by .
Not to shabby a out-look …

Across the Kaimais …

Across the Kaimais …

A long story short …

The idea to tramp across the Kaimai ranges  just happened to come pass really quickly after checking out a topo 50 map of our neighbourhood . The Wairere Falls seemed a really interesting feature  being the highest falls in the north island as a goal but it did take some calculations as to how long it would actually take to tramp to make sure we could do it in a day . It does help a little that at the start of most tramp tracks there is a time indication as to how long travel times are generally but sometimes not totally reliable . This time it was – 6 hours . 

Before we even pull on any boots the basic preparations are always done – weather , the right maps , plenty of food and water , wet weather gear as weather does change , basic first aid stuff including emergency blankets , torches etc . 

To enlarge any image just mouse click on it . Featured images are at the bottom of the page . 

Every-one who heads out into the bush must always let a contact know what and where you are going . Check the bush rules on any DOC site . Over prepareing  is not a bad thing . 

As a rule we have a Topo 50 map which are easily obtained from outdoor shops such as Bivoac or Hunting and Fishing etc . Also i have a hiking  app based on the Topo 5o maps with gps on my iPhone which have found to be really accurate even with no cell coverage [ ihikeGPS NZ ] . Very handy for making sure you are on the right track . The next item on the agenda is a personal locator beacon . 

For this hike we started at whats called “the blade” by the locals . Its at the end of Whakamarama road [ half way from Tauranga to Katikati up the hill ] and gets you part way into the bush and some really interesting tracks lead from here .Its called the blade because years ago a bulldozer blade was left there for yonks until some-one stole it for scrap . There is a movement afoot to replace it .  There is lots of tram trails from the early logging days up there which makes for  a easy hiking base which are just awesome to walk if you have some hours to kill . Easy … 

The one we travelled is called the  Ngamarama Track which is part of the original “over the ranges” track called the Te Tuhi . It intersects the old tramways occasionally and easy to tell with the big cuttings thru some banks . Some pix to the right . All the images on the right i used a iPhone so as to get some illustrative shots for the story . 

As tracks go it was not showing much use at all . No crowds here . In fact we saw only one person all the time and it was on this track . But like all DOC tracks the orange triangles marked the way and that was a good thing as the grasses were getting a bit high . You have to watch where you put your feet . 

Talking about grasses the seed heads of one type  [ the name escapes me ] are really nasty . If you are a hairy male they really grab as you walk past . My gators weren”t that much use as when you brush past a bank they grab your arm hairs . Ouch … Makes for some seed pulling from ya socks after-wards ! 

Lunch at the junction of Ngamarama and the North South track . Yum …

From here we followed the north-south track northwards . There are no bridges as per the more used DOC trails  . Good tramping boots really are a very good idea . So is gore-tex …take my word for it !… No wet feet ! 

The terrain is really gentle but to keep to some sort of time-table you need to move along just in case . Just awesome to see some big Kauri trees – see pix to the side  . 

 Next way point is joining the Wairere track itself and following the Wairere  stream to the falls  .

The falls themselves are preceded by the chatter of groups of sight-seers . Bum . It is really pleasant to be walking with-out anybody around . Really quiet … so nice ! 

Its taken 6 hours to get to this point with breaks . Not bad . 

The feature images from the falls are at the bottom . 

The track down to the carpark and our handy family taxi service is a bit steep to say the least . Probably harder than the tramp along the top . Especially with most of  the  camera gear ! 

The path is not really formed – just well compacted over time around the rocks making its own pathway . The steeper bit has a wooden stair system . The stream at the bottom makes for some really good swimming holes and being a tad warm were well used . 

Some-how these wanders keep coming up . I only do tramps that lead me to a interesting place or some-thing worth photographing as a goal . A sort of destination thing …

A word to the wise . Make sure you prepare with good equipment , plan ahead and know where you are as well as some-one else knowing where you plan to be at certain times . People have been lost on the same track and needed helicopter rescue . Partly why i have a blue camera bag . You can see it from the air …

If any-one wants more info get in touch …

Happy wandering .


Old tramway cutting


Tramway cutting

Pulling those pesky seeds from the legs ...

Lunch at Junction of north-south and the tuhi



Amazing lattice like root formations

Always good to see the DOC signboard ...

Regenerating canopy ...







The track down to falls carpark . Not formed but trodden over time ...

3552 wairere rocks view web by M Handley.
Looking at the lip of the falls

3564 wairere edge web#03 by M Handley.

3574 wairere log web #05 by M Handley.
Driftwood ?

3593wairere top side-on web_ by M Handley.

3611 wairere face zoom web#04 by M Handley.
Up close and personal .

3621 wairere below lookout web_ by M Handley.

The spectacular coast walk to Homunga Bay …

The spectacular coast walk to Homunga Bay …

The start …

To access the DOC coastal walk to Homunga Bay take the track leading off at the very northern end of Waihi beach past the surf club . There is usually plenty of parking unless its a long holiday week-end and as its a good days wander you won’t be starting that late anyways . 

The start as you ascend from the beach seems like some old bulldozed track but it soon reverts to a typical kiwi hiking trail which for the first while is really wide and well formed . 

The first part takes you to Orokawa Bay which is a very popular with walkers and runners as well as fishermen . Its a very  quiet beach as there is only the people there who have walked or paddled around . No corner shop or passing traffic at all so that makes for a real Kiwi slightly out of the way beach to chill out at . 

With all images if you want to enlarge them for a better look just mouse click on them . Easy …

 

3347 coromandel beach scene web by M Handley.


Looking back at Waihi beach township .

Orokawa bay

Orokawa bay

A good easy track to walk to the first bay .

The next part …

Along from Orokawa bay the track takes on a more DOC style of pathway . That is from a wide path it is more of a single lane  , even scrambling around slip faces at times . As with all DOC tracks the way is marked with orange markers so you can’t get lost at all . 

The route takes you to some astounding views of the coastline and sometimes you need to navigate some steepish bluffs but nothing to really worry about . 

No hordes of tourists here … just peaceful wandering thru bush and cliff . 

The nexr coastal spot is Boat Bay . Seems like its a favourite fishing spot by the steps and hand-holds carved into some of the rock faces to make tracks down to  the flat rock formations above some deep looking drop-offs . Plenty of bird life so the food will be there …

Boat Bay


Looking back at Orokawa Bay from coastal track .

Pays to have decent footwear .

Boat Bay ...

Huge Pohutakawa tree at Boat Bay

Rock formations at Boat Bay .

On the track ...

Bridge at Boat Bay

Homunga Bay from the coastal track

Destination … Homunga Bay .

The track ends along a winding escarpment above the coastline and joins the steep track from the road end before hitting the beach itself . 

This is the bay with the water-fall on the beach . This time – just after christmas – the water flow was a bit on the wimpish side . Hardly enough for a shower so shall include a image from a previous tramp here . 

One thing tho … as it takes a bit of effort to get here the chances of having lots of tourists is rather more remote . You can’t get the camper-van even close so time precious travellers may not even consider this pristine little hide-away .

Just typical Kiwi coastline in the Coromandel . Right on your door-step . 

You can also get track info from the DOC website – just google “doc homunga bay” . 

Make sure you click on the bottom image to get the panoramic view . 

 


The beach waterfall in Autumn .


Homunga Bay , Coromandel .