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8-12 November 2007

From the Psychotic to the Sublime

The Lake Waikaremoana Track

Day 4, Page 1: Marauiti to Waiharuru

Most people walk the Waikaremoana track in four days, or even three. As usual, we've chosen the longer option and we're taking five days. And this is one of the days I'm really grateful for. We have two hours DoC time to make it to the next hut and it's through some of the loveliest bush I have ever seen. We can afford to take our time and we do.

We head back down the track a couple of hundred metres to the junction, and turn for a look at the hut before going on. It's a comfortable and cosy hut after the impersonal size of Waiopaoa, and if it's a cold night, this is the hut you want to be in, for sure.

There's a good chance, with many of the casual public opting for the new huts, that you'll have it all to yourself.

Over the bridge

and into the dappled light of the bush close to the lake.

As we come along the other side of the inlet, Dakin is trying his luck with a spinner from the shore.

The track continues, sometimes beside the lake and sometimes heading back into the bush to bypass a steep bank, but there's nothing much in the way of a climb until we cross the saddle into Te Totara Bay.

The morning sun through the trees is just about straight ahead.

When you get back a little from the edge of the lake there are some nice silhouette shots to be had.

The sheer size never fails to awe me of the trees that lie chainsawed apart to let the track through.

We are looking back here into Marauiti Bay. The hut is around to our right.

The water is exceptionally clear, and you can see how steeply the lake deepens. Dakin's depth sounder often records 60-70m within a few metres of the shoreline.

We pick our way along the edge of the cliff. With 2 metres below me instead of 200, it's much less fraught than Day 1 up to Panekiri.

A pach of hen and chicken ferns advertises itself unmistakeably.

More fallen beech. It's DoC policy to allow fallen trees to rot and return their material to the surroundings, and I concede this, but there's another part of my make up that hears my grandfather's hatred of "waste". He was a carpenter, as it happens. There are some big dead kauri up in the Cascades, and I especially wonder about those.

We climb briefly around another steep piece of bank.

and it's back into deepish shade.




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In the Steps of Jack Leigh


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