That was our first trip in New Year if I don’t take the trip to Auckland with my mum and brother into account.
The plan was: an easy 1-2 day trip, less than 13km per day, sleepover in a hut and try to take some pictures of night sky. Nothing complicated. So, I found a track at Kapiti Coast, which was about an hour from Wellington. The track description mentioned that there are some steep parts and a few stream crossings are necessary even during summer time but nothing what we would be worried about. A hut was in 2/3 of the track and about 30 minutes from the summit which promises spectacular views. Everything we were looking for.
We set off Wellington around midday with all important stuff, including an appropriate photo equipment. We just made the quick stops to buy some food and the hut tickets which are sold in visitor centers and you need them if you want to stay in a hut overnight. We’ve never met anybody who would check that but it is said that fines are quiet big and hut tickets are just few bucks. And yes, we definitely needed to stop for a scoop of Tip Top ice-cream. Love it!!!
We left our car guarded by 3 black sheep and started the track. The sun was shining and the path was fine. After 10 minutes we came to a stream which we needed to cross. It wasn’t deep, bit below our knees, but it was really, really cold and you couldn’t cross it quickly because of sharp stones at the bottom.
After crossing we dried our feet properly and took shoes back on. By that time we didn’t know that we would have to do the same thing five times more. First time, it was fun, fifth time it was pretty annoying. We also met some trampers who told us not to bother with taking our shoes off and simply cross the stream with them on but it didn’t sound like a good idea to us so we rather spent more time to do it our way.
A while after the last crossing the path started to ascend. More accurately, it started to be like stairs to lookout tower. If you decide to make a trip with a lookout, what more - a SPECTACULAR lookout, you don’t expect you will walk on flat land for whole time but either to have tongue on your vest for whole time.
We had breaks maybe every 15 minutes and after 3 hours we were pretty exhausted. What’s more, we were running out of MENTOS BONBONS!!! The surrounding forest changed from the classic deciduous forest with the big spaces between trees to the forest with small tinny trunks, close to each other and almost without leaves. Finally, after 4 hours of crawling we got above the tree line and could see the summit – Kapakapanui. I have to admit that the view was pretty awesome – from one side the view of Kapiti Cost with silhouette of Kapiti Island and from other of Tararua Range.
Because it was around 6pm I refused to continue to the hut before the sunset so we could take some nice, romantic, kitsch pictures what everybody would say oohh about ☺. In two hours our fancy noodles with tuna were cooked and eaten, pinky pictures were taken (Lightroom magic) and we rather went to find our hut, whose position we exactly didn’t know. The downhill walk through the forest was even more beautiful than the summit view because of sunset light.
We reached the hut just right on time before the dark. It was a very simple one with six beds, a table and a kitchen desk, but it was empty which meant we had a bed. In huts it works like first comes, first serves. The only thing which didn’t work well was our intention to take photos in the night. Although the forecast should had been fine, the sky was cloudy.
Next morning we finished the track without any troubles. In the last part we had to cross the stream many times again but this time we just decided go through without taking shoes off because our car wasn’t too far. We managed to do it much faster ☺. So we survived, sheep did their job well and we took the nice pics.
And of course, as you started the trip so you have to finish it – with a scoop of Tip Top ice-cream ☺.