It's been a while since my partner and I haven't spent time on holiday. The pandemic has interrupted many of our plans. The desire to go home to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with family and friends has not yet been fulfilled. Luckily, we live in New Zealand so there are still quite a few beautiful and majestic places for us to explore.
Our upcoming trip to conquer the red crater at Mt Tongariro Alpine crossing is just a few days away. Thanks to the Xmas holiday, we have time every day to climb small hills around our city to build up our endurance and physical strength.
To get motivated for the next hiking trip, today I will take you to the mountain that I climbed on New Year's Day 2021 - Mt Holdsworth. To me, it is not a difficult mountain, however, due to inaccurate information, it made the climb up to the overnight hut a bit difficult.
We drove from Wellington to Tararua Forest Part - the read circle
We set out from Wellington on the last day of 2020. Based on online reviews, I thought the climb to the cabin would be quite easy, so I decided to stop at a few attractions along the way in the morning.
One of the interesting stops is “Stonehenge Aotearoa”, which as its name implies, recreates the enigmatic structure in Great Britain. For those who are interested in basic astronomy, it is interesting to learn about our universe. I think it would be much more fun to visit this place on a clear night and be able to see the constellations.
Since we arrived during the day, the scene was not as beautiful as it is in the website's advertisement photos. But we were able to take these amazing photos playing with the panoramic function.
Discovering a cool function on our Iphones
We arrived at the bottom of the mountain around midday. I can see there are a few children playing with water in a small stream. From afar, some families were gathering to have fun BBQs. Laughter and chatter filled the place.
The first part of our hike includes ascending to the Powell cabin on a "friendly" path. The first few kilometres seemed pleasant on the whole. I actually enjoyed walking through the forest and chatting with people on the way. However, the last kilometre and a half of an aggressive ascent through the forested hill was a nightmare for me.
The first part was super nice through beech-podocarp forest
Start going up hills, taking off my jacket and tight up my hair. It was really hot going up.
This is where I told my partner, this is my last time to climb the mountain, so tough
The incorrect signposts, the weight of my backpack, and the wide steps (for a short person like me), all make this climb an unforgettable experience. Frankly, I didn't get tired because of the walk, I was tired of my mind telling me "We are about to get there, the Power Hut cabin is not too far away". Then disappointed to see the next part to climb.
I remember in the last moments, I was telling myself and my partner "this will be the last time I climb mountains. It is bloody tiring and I couldn't stand it anymore. We won't climb any mountain next year".
Deep down inside I know the track is not that difficult, but my expectation of reaching the cabin after a few hours of climbing made my mind panic. After all, this part was quite a journey for two full-time office workers who underestimated the hike.
Fortunately, we arrived at the hut just in time to get the last beds. Interestingly, there is no lock or pincode to access the hut. Literally, everyone can get in without booking the place. This basic hut is run by the department of conservation. Despite there are not many options in the kitchen area, I really like the fact that it is powered by solar energy.
Breath-taking view of the Power Hut - I love it is powered by solar energy
There is little to highlight about the dinner and “celebration” for the end of the year, apart from the fact that we shared a Catena Zapata Malbec, a beautiful red wine from Argentina, with a local family from Masterton. We had a good chat about our lives, enjoying some games and then go to bed early as we would climb the submit early tomorrow.
2021 dawned splendidly, and very early. I was enjoying the first sunlight of 2021 and said hello to the dog
We had breakfast and we attack the summit of the mountain only with a light backpack. The journey was quite deceptive; On several occasions, the mountain hinted that its summit was near, but when we reached it we only discovered that it was much further away. Anyway, in about an hour we arrived to see the breath-taking view from the top of the mountain range.
I thought it was the summit but no, we had to climb much more
I was so thrilled to see this plant flowering on the top of the moutain
On the top of the mountain now, so happy to make it
Views from the top, not bad for the very first day of the year, right?
We returned to the cabin to prepare for the rest of the day. Once again with heavy backpacks on our back, we went back up the wooded hill, but after an hour and a half, we took another path that was much steeper than the one we did at the beginning. Although we were going downhill, it was very painful for our legs and knees.
Not much more to count, we came back exhausted. We quickly stretch our legs and back before going back home.
Due to the lack of physical preparation for last year's trek, this year we consciously prepare for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. With 2 hours of walking up and down hills every day. I hope it won't be too hard for us and will be a fun trip to celebrate the 2022 New Year.