Mount Hobson (or bust)

When I first organised our trip to the barrier, the original plan was to run the entire length of the Aotea Track (billed as a 3 day, 25km tramp), however I started looking for alternatives when I was told a large portion of the Whangaparapara end of the trail is boring and that we’d be out on the trail for something like 8-10 hours (both distance and times varied widely between publications, even ones put out by the same people (DOC I’m talking to you) – in fact there was talk at the Mt Heale Hut that the distances and times on the trail signs are just made up and we shouldn’t trust any of them lol).

Although I looked at other trails I kept coming back to this;

To stand at the top of Hirakimata (Mt Hobson), with a 360-degree panorama, is what many trampers set as their primary goal once they’ve landed on the island. (Source).

Apparently, it’s the thing to do when you visit the Barrier ..

The plan from that point forward was to drive to Kaitoke Hot Springs, catch a shuttle (provided by the hire car company) to Windy Canyon and then run (16km) back to Kaitoke Hot Springs, stopping for a soak enroute.

Unfortunately upon our arrival we still had no idea where or how to catch the shuttle so were left to decide between running to the top of Mt Hobson from Kaitoke Hot Springs and back again or running a completely different trail.

Although “piking out” crossed my mind, I kept coming back to this;

To stand at the top of Hirakimata (Mt Hobson), with a 360-degree panorama, is what many trampers set as their primary goal once they’ve landed on the island. (Source).

So, that was that – we couldn’t go all the way to the Great Barrier and not stand on top of Mt Hobson!

If we couldn’t sort out the shuttle service we would just have to run to the top, admire the view then turn around and come back and in the end that’s exactly what we did! It turned out that the shuttle wouldn’t have taken us to our desired starting point until nearly lunchtime, and neither of us were keen to be running along the ridge of a mountain during the hottest part of the day, although the shuttle operator dryly noted “you’ll get hot running anyway” lololol

She was right, it was pretty hot out there! In fact it was so hot that as I was throwing down some water I made James take this photo of me. I then told him if I ever suggested that we should run up another mountain, that all he had to do was send me that photo and I’d shut the f**k up.

At least the next time we head across I can put that big arse mountain on my “been there, done that” list and move on .. 😉

Till next time

 

 

 

 

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