February 20, 2014
Woke to a gorgeous morning – clear, sunny skies with a light breeze. The kind of morning where you can’t stop taking photos of the ever changing light on the peaks.
The day’s hike was a series of short up and downs over several ridges, the last of which crossed a forest to reach Waihohonu hut at the edge of a stream.
The trail took us the 3 hours posted on the signs with frequent photo stops. Note that the temperature rose considerable during the day, making trekking less pleasant for those who left Oturere Hut later in the day.
5.1 miles/8.2K with a total ascent of 1005 ft/306m
Waihohonu Hut 3675ft/1120m
Waihohonu hut is definitely the nicer of the two huts. Recently built in 2010 it has a huge main room with plenty of tables, large picture windows that showcase the views of Mt Ngauruhoe, and a spacious cooking area. Sleeping rooms with bunk beds flank both sides of the communal room.
Spent the afternoon chilling by the stream that runs below the hut where we found a small shaded beach just off the far end of the camp site. The temperature was perfect for lounging. Just remember to bring bug repellent to ward off the sand flies.