Te Araroa Trail – Day 36
Friday, December 8, 2023
Distance/ Total: 13.8 km / 8.6 mi
I enjoyed the motel room last night. It was one of the better beds I’ve slept in on this trip. I wasn’t in a hurry this morning and took some time to download a couple of audiobooks before starting down the trail.
The first 3 km was more roadwalk until I reached the Nikau Walkway and started climbing up Mt. Pirongia. I took a short side trip to a cave which turned out to be only about 30 meters long. Back on the trail and heading up the mountain the trail was muddy, tangled roots, and steep climbs – just a normal New Zealand tramping track.
It turned out to be better than I anticipated and I made fairly good time on the climb up the mountain. There was a lookout tower on Mt. Pirongia and I climbed up to get a good 360 degree view.
It was a short walk from the peak down to the Pahautea Hut and I arrived there about 3:00 pm. There were a few other hikers there when I arrived and we visited through the afternoon. Other hikers began to arrive around 5:00 and there were probably 10 hikers at the hut by nightfall.