TA Day 38 – Off Trail, Ruapehu Round the Mountain

Today -30km from Whakapapa Village via Tama lakes to Rangipo Hut

I arrived in Whakapapa village last night and had a lovely evening at the holiday park , chatting to some travellers who got rid of the rest of their delicious pasta dinner to me , score!

Was a bit sluggish getting up this morn but beautiful weather had me hitting the track excited for the day.

Surprised at the amount of snow still on Ruapehu!

Today was so scenic, wicked mountain views and great weather. It was really hot though!

Started off with a look at Taranaki Falls, and was making good time on the gravel graded great walk tramping track.

It was nice to be able to walk and look at the views at the same time instead of constantly worrying about tripping over!

I continued onto the sidetrack to Tama Lakes, and dropped my pack and took a small bag of snacks and some water to the upper Tama Lake. Definately worth it, and the legs got a real work out!

The rest of the morning was cruising on the track, saying hi to lots of people and enjoying all the scenery. And trying to not overheat, the sun was so intense!

Another quick side trip before lunch to see the historical Waihohonu Hut, where men and women had separate quarters.

Then lunch at the beautiful Waihohonu hut and a quick tent drying session before getting cracking on the second part of the day.

With a solid bit of walking under my belt for the day but still a bit to go, I made sure I was drinking heaps of water and was covered from the pesky sun.

This afternoons walk was up and down and up traversing around the mountain through river valleys and with some stiff climbing the legs are feeling it!

Crossed the Tukino 4WD track to the winter skifield there and the next hour or so to the hut were hard work as I was getting tired having been in the sun all day.

It’s really interesting, you pass some of the lahar routes and giant caution signs tell you to move quickly, always a bit nerve wracking.

The final hill out the way, came round the corner to the most beautiful little hut tucked away.

Spent the evening relaxing and eating food and drinking tea, off for an early night.

Rangipo hut is gorgeous and I’m surprised there aren’t more people on the Round the Mountain track, as the Tongariro Northern Circuit is pumping with people right now. It’s nice having some solitude .

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