While the major mountains of the North Island lie to the south of Lake Taupo, one large hill / small mountain makes it’s presence known near the town of Taupo, on the north edge of the lake. Mt. Tauhara.
This hike was simply one continuous, long climb. The elevation change is about 500 meters, and some sections were quite steep. Tauhara itself isn’t a huge mountain (just shy of 1100m/3300ft), but it dominates the surrounding area. I’ll have pictures of that later from on the water of Lake Taupo itself.
Anyways, after leaving the rolling green hills at the start, the path winds it’s way up the mountainside through forest and bush. For the most part, the 90 minute sweat-filled hike upwards was very uneventful and not very picture worthy, but enjoyable all the same. The foliage is too dense to allow much in the way of views. There were some neat walking sections though, where you had tight squeezes in areas.
It’s hard with the perspective, but the wall-sides here are well above my head. After the tiring hike to the top, the view north was very rewarding.
It’s a steep drop from that rock. A quicker way back down to be sure.
A 5 minute walk along the top ridge led me to a final rock cluster, which gives you this great view of the lake and surrounding area.
A good warm up for the Tongariro Crossing, which features a few steady climbing sections. While the weather here in Taupo has been spectacular, just 60km south Mt. Tongariro/Ngaurahoe/Ruapehu have seen pretty changable weather – it should be good by Sunday/Monday, and I hopefully will hit the Crossing to find perfect weather. Fingers are crossed. 🙂