Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hiking Karangahake gorge and Mount Maunganui

The acute among you may notice that this post is being published by some strange new person. That's right, Beth, the creator, editor, and photographer for this blog is in the shower, washing off the lingering scent of volcanic sulfur (more on that tomorrow), while I, her lazy boyfriend, ride the coattails of her hard work!

Yesterday Beth, my dad Bill, my brother Nick and I piled into the van and took a road trip down to the town of Tauranga, southwest of Auckland on the northern coast. Along the way we stopped to have lunch at a quirky restaurant and had a short hike.

Hiking the Karangahake gorge, day four

It was a lovely jaunt along a river surrounded by New Zealand's iconic black tree ferns, jurassic-looking flora which grow thick stalks like trees. Beth had two firsts, swinging bridges (disliked), and honeysuckle (liked). I guess growing up in Durham provided more opportunities to learn which flowers you can harvest nectar from than growing up in Queens. For Nick and I, this brought back childhood memories of our schemes to collect vast quantities of honeysuckle nectar and sell it for a brisk profit. After an hour of backbreaking work, our mason jar was still pretty much completely empty. Oh well.

Flowers in Karangahake gorge, day four

There were also these pretty yellow flowers. We didn't try to eat their nectar.

After our hike we got back onto the road and met up with dad's friends, Duncan and Jane, residents of Tauranga. They took us to climb Mount Maunganui, a great mound of earth which sits on the end of a peninsula, dividing the ocean from the bay.

Sheep at Mount Maunganui, day four

The local government employs a herd of bio-fuel lawnmowers to trim the lawn at the base of the mountain. Baah!

View from Mt. Maunganui, day four

After a brisk climb punctuated by sweaty Kiwis having absolutely no fun running up and down past us, we neared the summit. Here the trail turns to a precarious footpath, and there's a bit of a view.

View from the top of Mt. Maunganui, day four

At the top we were rewarded with 360° of brilliant ocean and sky in a multifarious cascade of blues and more blues. It was pretty cool.

7 comments:

  1. Just happened to log on at the right time for your first post! Looks absolutely beautiful and sounds like you are having a great time! I look forward to reading more! Ohh and P.S. I got into grad school for Fall 2011! Woo woo! Take care and can't wait to see more pictures!

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  2. Great pics. Multifarious blues? Next time I need a good adjective, I know who to ask.

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  3. Very successful first post! Looking forward to more!!

    ps- obviously I have to comment everyday out of shear enthusiasm.

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  4. Great post and pictures, Mr. Jack-In-The-Box-Will!!

    The sheep are really cute! Don't let 'em pull the wool over your eyes! HA HA HA HA

    Hope you're having a great time! Sounds like you are.

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  5. @ Jackie - this is why i love you
    @ Amy, Holly, David- thanks so much for visiting!

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  6. I'm thinking: A book needs to be made of this wonderful trip. . . . even if it's just one copy (well, one for each of you) . . . Any takers?

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  7. Hey -- is this the inspirational home of Settlers of Catan? I see sheep, wood, metal, grain -- is there brick? Baah.

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