Ruapane Lookout, Tirohanga Track, Pirongia

On a not so favorable winters day we headed to Mount Pirongia and the Tirohanga track, access to this section of walkway is from Te Pahu rd just south of Te Pahu in the Waikato and turn off on Corcoran rd the track is located at the very end of the sealed road.

The lower section of the walkway was in excellent condition despite heavy rain and the walking was easy, a little way in the steps start and the track starts to get a little more difficult with mud added in the mix, and there are some impressive native trees along the walk, big Kauri and rimu and various other natives mixed in.

Around twenty minutes or so into the walk the steps run out the track starts to get really steep and the mud is getting a little deep in places and the tree roots make an apperance and they totaly cover the track, now the going is getting hard and to make it harder a stream is running down the track from the early rain.

Not deterred we carry on up the track and the walk starts to deteriorate quickly with large holes filled with water and very slippery tree roots and lots of mud, there are glimpses of the valley floor through the trees just off the side of the track so we are walking up a narrow ridge line, this was tough in the conditions but we were enjoying this.

The track starts drying out in the top section as we start to climb the rocks, at least there is no more mud to contend with any way, we were now approaching the Ruapane Lookout as we could see daylight high above us, the track here is steep and you need to take caution not to slip and fall, breaking through the last of the bush we get a stunning view down into the valley below.

We just get time to take a few photos and down came the rain it was heavy and persistant there was now no views anywhere, so we head back down the mountain in the rain with a small river following us down the hillside it was now nearly dark in the bush with the clouds overhead and the track was deteriorating very fast, the walk up took around one and a quarter hours in not so ideal conditions but we really enjoyed the track, not really suitable for small kids in the adverse conditions though and you need a bit of fitness for the mid and top section. 

 

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