Mon­day walk­ers

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News -

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.

Photo / Graeme Jor­dan

Mon­day walk­ers take a break on the top of Mt Tauhara.

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