Trip No. 1229
written by Kevin C & Kathy
Name of Tramp: The Pouakai Tarns, Mt Taranaki
Date: Friday 27 – Sunday 29 May 2022
Participants: Kathy O, Carl R (& Little T), Kevin C, Christine L, Keren D, Yvonne O, Adrienne VH, Cate H, Janice E, Lynne I.
Option A: Pouakai Tarns via Mangorei Road
Option B: Pouakai Crossing via The Camphouse, North Egmont to Mangorei Road.
Option A: Pouakai Tarns via Mangorei Road
There were as noted above, 10 keen trampers for this weekend on Mt Taranaki. With a few withdrawals and some latter additions, we had a good number for the advertised trip. There were other options offered, one of which Lynne decided to enjoy a relaxing day, doing day walks around The Camphouse. The weather offered us a variety of options, and after a bit of tallying and froing, it was myself, Carl, Keren, Yvonne and Christine that decided to do the Pouakai Tarns, and Adrienne, Janice and Cate to do the Pouakai Crossing (with the estimate of an 8-9 hour tramp, they decided to set off early). I was of the same opinion to set off at 7 am also, with the drive around to Mangorei Trailhead carpark, to take 30 minutes. As it was, we set off closer to 8 am.
I had estimated it to take our group 3-4 hours to get to Pouakai Hut (the DOC sign post estimate was 2.5 hours), and actually it took us 2 hours of steady walking (I think we had some pacesetters in front of us!). After a wee pitstop at Pouakai Hut, it was another 20-30 minutes to the Tarns, with some stunning views of Mt
Taranaki in front of us.
With time on our side and the aim to get the best photo shots, we tried a variety of poses. Carl did little to impress us with his world wrestler naked arms pose, but at the end, redeemed himself, by a well-timed jump shot with Yvonne O. And so, the ‘jump shot pose’ has been born....
Again, with time on our side, we had the options of doing Henry’s Peak, Pouakai Trig, or Pouakai Peak. Pouakai Peak looked the less strenuous option so I voted for that, and so off we went. It took only maybe 30 minutes to get to the peak from Pouakai Hut, and there were clear views (a “10/10”), for a few seconds, before cloud cover just appeared and managed to blur our views, of the coast and New Plymouth anyways. We set off back down, and not far from the main track, I looked over and saw 3 ladies walking down towards the Hut and guessed correctly that it was Adrienne, Cate and Janice! We called out and they waved back. We did not want to go back up to the hut, so set off for the car, we had driven two cars over to Mangorei Road that morning and would return one car and leave the car for the Pouakai-Crossers.
We have to mention the accommodation, The Camphouse – though I thought I had given good information in the preparation email – the feedback for future club trips is, that – “The Camphouse was very cold! Definitely ensure adequate sleeping gear is brought for the trip”. And also, we had the pleasure of sharing The Camphouse with 8 students and 2 teachers from Waiuku High School doing training for their Duke of Edinburgh medals. However, the feedback from them was that we were noisy on Friday night!
On Saturday night, there were options to stay back at The Camphouse and have dinner and snacks there or go out to dinner – Adrienne had done some research and found that ‘Simply Divine’ in the Egmont Village looked favourable – and from those that did go (about half went, half stayed back), all said they had a lovely meal and dessert.
We were supposed to decide on the Sunday’s plan the night before, but as plans go, we had none initially, other than maybe not getting up too early, having breakfast, cleaning up and visiting the North Egmont Visitors Centre, doing a 2 hour walk somewhere and then setting off home. And this is pretty much what we did, though the 2-hour walk was not on the mountain, but a 20 minute drive away. Lake Mangamahoe - this turned out to be a delightful walk around a dammed lake. There were beautiful views of Mt Taranaki and with the array of autumn-coloured trees, it provided spectacular calendar worthy pictures. Again, we tried some more ‘jump shot poses’!
An appetite had been worked up, so we stopped at Urenui at the Old Town Hall for ‘scones and tea’ pronounced with a very posh English voice! We learnt the difference between cream and clotted cream, and were impressed with the work that goes into making this clotted cream. However, we did quietly wonder whether it was from a mascarpone packet?
Anyways, thanks for the delightful company this weekend, I made some new buddies, got rid of 0.5 kilo on Saturday, and then gained it back on Sunday, the weather was fab, Mount Taranaki absolutely eye-catchingly beautiful!