If you’ve done any research on long hikes in New Zealand, you’ve probably come across the hut system. One of these huts was our destination on our pinnacles hike, and compared to the “huts” that I’ve used on the AT and the Vermont Long Trail, it’s palatial. It’s really more like a hostel with an amazing porch than a hut, and impeccably clean thanks to strict rules on where dirty shoes can go and a diligent hut caretaker.
Our original plan was to hike up in the afternoon/evening and then do a sunrise hike from the hut to the peak in the morning, but the incoming clouds and weather forecast convinced us to do the rest of the hike in the evening and I’m so glad we did. Not only because it poured rain the next day (our hike down was pretty hairy) but because I found a trekking pole! It was very helpful on the way down because from the hut to the peak is just stairs.
The actual trail is the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail, and although the drive to get there is a bit rough (prius not recommended) it’s definitely worth it. The New Zealand Department of Conservation has all the info you need.
Matt’s pictures of the trail and of me climbing the trail give a much better idea of the steepness than my scenery pics….it was definitely giving me flashbacks to the Long Trail.
Totally worth it.
The next set of pictures is from the hike down the next morning. It is not as pretty….
The adventure didn’t end at the end of the trail though, because we had to get back to Auckland to pick up my brother and catch a flight to Queenstown. The road out became a bit of an issue after all of the rain…
But we made it out, made it to the airport, learned that American airport security is way more intense than other countries….and Ben struggled with Phase 10…