Tauhara Maunga kept his cloudy top hat off last Monday and honoured us with a lovely bush venue to walk in and amazing 360 degree views of our town and surroundings. This dormant small lava dome formed several hundred years ago. Ma¯ori legend has it that in the war of warrior mountains Tongariro won the heart of Pihanga but Tauhara maunga was so reluctant to leave her he only travelled as far as Taupo¯ and still gazes mournfully back at his lost love. After crossing the dreaded access farm paddock we climbed the steep track to the trig station some 1088 metres above sea level. En route we admired the gnarled enormous old griselinia littoralis or kapuka growing symbiotically with kamahi and covered in draping moss. We clambered over the fallen totara with its carved out steps that some recalled using as a diving board in their youth. The long drawn out screech of the pipiwharauroa, shining cuckoo, and the long tailed cuckoo, koekoea, followed us along the track drowning out the grey warbler’s (riroriro) trill. Both cuckoos return from their winter sojourn in Samoa to lay single eggs in other birds’ nests for them to fledge. The shining cuckoo picks on the poor riroriro and the long tail on the popokotea or whitehead. It was a busy day on the track and it was great to see local families along with the overseas backpackers enjoying the challenge. Our thanks to the landowners for sharing this treasure. It is a full day walk next week. To join us or for more information search Taupo¯ Monday Walkers on Facebook, phone David on 027 592 294 or email walkersmondaytaupo@ gmail.com. pool area a some of the group had not previously seen the transformation of the once rather primitive attraction. A steady parade of walkers encountered until approaching Huka Lodge across the river when a right turn was made up a gentle gravel track levelling at the Rotary Ride. Here we overlooked a sweep of green pastures.
The Rotary Ride track, when there was a canopy of taller trees, enjoyed stunning views at varying points of the river below. The canopy absence now permits the previously suppressed lower species to reach skywards and is obscuring those great river views. Along this shared track few cyclists were encountered. A slight loop was made to pass the historic Spa Hotel where some of the existing buildings could claim being here at the birth of our town. Further information on our regular walks is available from Bernie on 378 9229.
Monday walkers take a break on the top of Mt Tauhara.