Wow!! What an experience!!
We took the "easy" option of a water taxi (Dive Ops) to the Cape and thoroughly enjoyed arriving in plenty of time to enjoy the afternoon exploring the historical site of the lighthouse station with the added bonus of a boat ride through the Cathedral Cave and Hole in the Rock.
Overnighting in the DOC hut was a treat with only 1 other tramper there. Surprisingly there was plenty of kitchen utensils already there - running water and gas for cooking also supplied. Remember to take toilet paper though!!
We departed early morning with a hope of seeing the sunrise over the lighthouse but were thwarted by cloud cover and did not see the sun burst through until we had summitted and were heading down Mt Rakaumangamanga.
As we would be classified as novice trampers I could see why the labels from the DOC recommended high fitness and experience levels. We completed it in 7 hrs 20 mins with plenty of rest periods.
The walk itself was one of the more physically challenging experiences I have endured - and totally enjoyed in my life. The ups and downs, the vistas, the changing scenery and bush types topped with the bird life and total solitude made it an experience to remember.
The chance meeting of friends along the track certainly cheered us both us and spurred our way onwards.
Even though it's winter we were committed to a celebratory swim in Oke Bay at the end. We had earned it.
This is a part of NZ that must been seen and experienced!!
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