Top five moun­tains to con­quer

Rotorua Daily Post - - Local News -

This moun­tain has ev­ery­thing to of­fer, from brightly coloured crater lakes to re­gen­er­at­ing na­tive veg­e­ta­tion and steam­ing, geo­ther­mal ridges. There are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to snap some good views over­look­ing the sur­round­ing coun­try­side but to get the stun­ning 360-de­gree view, you will need to make it to the sum­mit. The climb takes about an hour and a half and at the top you will be greeted with un­for­get­table views of Mt Tarawera, Lake Tarawera, the Paeroa Range and as far south as the vol­canic peaks of Ton­gariro Na­tional Park. with­out get­ting to the top of Mount Ngongo­taha¯ at least once. The moun­tain can be reached two ways — the Vi­o­let Bon­ning­ton Re­serve or up Moun­tain Rd. The for­mer takes you on an easy walk through un­logged na­tive bush be­fore con­nect­ing up to the Ju­bilee Track where the track be­comes mod­er­ately steep be­fore reach­ing Moun­tain Rd. It’s a short walk from there to the sum­mit. Al­ter­na­tively, you can drive up Moun­tain Rd and start your walk from the road which winds around the moun­tain and gives you un­in­ter­rupted views of Lake Ro­torua on your way up. Give your­self an hour and a half to reach the top. Be pre­pared for some se­ri­ous slog­ging to reach the top of Whaka­poun­gakau, a rhy­o­lite dome on the shores of Lake Okataina. The track starts from the Out­door Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre, off Lake Okataina Rd. The first part of the route fol­lows the Western Okataina Walk­way be­fore turn­ing off to the right to Whaka­poun­gakau. Be sure to pack plenty of scrog­gin, sand­wiches and wa­ter as the round trip will take four to five hours. But if you’re all about those In­sta­gram posts, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to lake views at the top. If you have man­aged to climb all the moun­tains near Ro­torua, take a trip over the hill to Mount Maun­ganui to take on Mauao. While the walk to the sum­mit cer­tainly can­not be de­scribed as a ca­sual stroll, the panoramic views at the sum­mit make it worth­while. It takes be­tween 30 and 45 min­utes to reach the top, depend­ing on how fre­quently you stop along the way. The two most pop­u­lar tracks are the Oru­ahine and Waiko­rire tracks. Both start from the ocean side of the base track. Just fol­low the board­walk along the beach and past the surf life­sav­ing club to be­gin.

PHOTO / GETTY IM­AGES

Ed­i­tor’s note: Only moun­tains that are free to climb were con­sid­ered for this list Mount Tauhara.

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