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Country: New Zealand Tour / Mountain: Tararuas
Start: Masterton End:  
Distance:   Time: Several day trips and multible day trips
Supply: Self sufficient, huts  

wet, windy, steep

Rating: The itrees covered in thick moss are incredible. If there are fairy tale forest somewhere on the planet then here


Tramping: Tramping is the New Zealand word for hiking. John is an eager Tramper and member in two Tramping clubs and thus it is no miracle that he took us to a tramping tour. Together with the members of "South Wairarappa Tramping Club" it goes in the Tararuas, mountain ranges straight through the southern part of the North Island. No matter whether west wind or east wind, all clouds rain in the Tararuas and it is mostly wet there. Most participants are already in the retirement age, however, this is not a comfortable afternoon walk. The first 1.5 hours it still goes on a footpath uphill and downhill, however, then it goes into the bush, in the unmarked area. We follow a mountain stream and, finally, it goes uphill in a direct line. It is steep, exactly said very steep, however, even the more than 70-year-old participants master this and the regular showers with bravado! After a total of 8 hours with a half-hour lunch break we are safe again back at the starting point.
WET SOCKS: First we thought, we would cross only once briefly the river and so we hopped from stone to stone to get no wet feet. But to all other participants of the travelling tour the river made no difference, and so they have simply run through the partial almost knee-high water. After the third river crossing slowly dawns to us that we cross the mountain stream here not only briefly, but run in the middle of him uphill; him virtually as a footpath use there right and left thick brushland is. We venture also the jump in the cold water, however, thus properly we cannot make friends with the wet feet. Nevertheless, to the kiwis, as themselves the New Zealanders name after the so named bird with pleasure themselves, wet feet seem make no difference. A participant raves on us even as great it is with wet feet or socks, because one receives so less bubbles and John has rinsed before beginning of the tour his travelling boots even with water.


Tramping trip in the Tararuas: Together with John we explore the Tararuas again on a 2-day tour. Of course there are again river crossings and showers and therefore of course also nice wet socks, even if we cross the first river still on a long suspension bridge.
Short rain break: Shortly before the mountain hut where we want to spend the night it stops to rain all at once. The sun comes out and dips the rain forests in a charming light.


"Wet Socks" part 2: Up to now there were only wet feet with,but uwalk with aon a hike with Ann it got tougher. First it went again directly in the small river. Then, however, in a narrow canyon the stream course formed all at once a small lake and before we realised it we stood already about the bellybutton in the water!!! Immediately several times we stood in the course of this tour about the hip in the ice-cold water. I can still remember well that I have seen some years ago the advertising of a New Zealand backpack company in which they have touted that her backpacks are watertight even if one walks through the deep water. At that time I still imagined "What nonsense! Who walks voluntarily through the deep water!!!"


Tramping in the Tararuas: In spite of eye we went with Ann and her daughter Jannet on a trekking tour of several days into the Tararuas. The destination was, actually, a crossing of the southern mountain range, however, because of unclear weather conditions (fog and storm) we have rather refused to go about the open heights. Because Jannet does not like to stay in a hut we carry our whole camping equipment (tent, Isomatten, sleeping-bags, cookers) Although we had this time no river crossing we had a lot of fun.
High-level moor: The only water supply on the summit plateau of the Cone are a few wonderful water pools.
Fairy tale forest: The Tararuas are extremelywindy wind mountains with a lot of rain. Accordingly the trees grow only to a certain hight (maybe 3-4m). On top they are cut like with scissors by the strong winds. By the frequent rain these woods form a paradise for mosses and lichens, the trunks close covered. Our footpath on the Cone ridge has led us several hours by these wonderful woods. The woods were so fantastically that they have looked already almost kitschy, and a we would not have been the slightest surprised if a small fairy or an elf would suddenly appear behind a bush.


Mt. Holdsworth: Together with John and Ann went once again in the Tararuas, that mountain range in New Zealand which is famous for the heavy rainfall and stormy winds and whose previous visits have already brought us a lot of respect and shaking of the head ("How you have come then to the mad idea to go to the Tararuas" was one of the most often comment). This time we take in Mount Holdsworth. After a strenuous climb through rainy bush we come out above the tree line and also abve the clouds. We are recompensed for our efforts not only with a few sunrays but also with wonderful ice-coated blades of grass sparkling in the sun.
Brocken Spectrum: The rainbow-like mirage is known here under the name "Brocken spectrum", namend after a mountain in Germany




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