Day 38. Tongariro National Park….Taranaki Falls Track 2 hour return, 4 miles. Weather- sunshine and showers.
Still tired and aching from the previous days alpine crossing, we started this thankfully short loop via the upper track, underfoot gravel made for an easy start through a landscape of red tussock and manuka.
We continued on through native bush and rushing rocky streams…
Back out in the open we skirted around the slopes of Mount Ruapehu, crossing eroded gullies formed as a result of weather systems on volcanic soil.
The edge of the lava flow, scary to think we now walked where the lava once flowed. All around this area nature had reclaimed the landscape with red tussock….
Boardwalks allowed for passage over wet areas, bridges over rushing streams….
Steps down through a forest of mountain toatoa took us out to the top of the falls. Taranaki Falls so called, as on a clear day it is possible to see Mount Taranaki in the distance, not this day though!
To see the falls shooting out and thundering down to the rocky pool below, we had to climb down steep steps to reach the flat viewing area.
Of course the man behind the lens needed to get lower still….
For his best shots…..
A friendly chaffinch wishing to share our lunch….
On the walk back a smaller waterfall and rocky river…
Drive to overnight stop….Clifton Road Reserve freedom Camp in Hastings. Sleep and hopefully our aches and pains would diminish!