Having spent almost half of my life living in Wellington, this was the first time I'd ever gone to Castlepoint and now I'm wondering what in the world took me so long to drive the 2.5 hours to this very cool place!
This was our first foray out into the bush for an overnight hut stay after nearly two months in lockdown. We thought there would be loads of people out and about, as the weather was ok and we figured everyone would be taking advantage of being able to get out in nature again!
In March 2020, I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to do the inaugural Trek for Life, a wonderful week long event that brings together a fabulous community of walkers, bikers, and horse trekkers to explore Aotearoa New Zealand while raising funds for first responders in the regions.
The Pouakai Circuit is one of the best multi-day hikes I've ever done. The views are phenomenal. The huts are great. Sunrise from the Pouakai Tarn was stunning. The track is technical enough to be interesting. It's not super full of people. The terrain varies greatly.
This is a popular walk, and for good reasons. It's free, has stunning views, great picnic spots, has historical significance, and takes less than two hours to do! Cook's Cove Walk is in Tolaga Bay, home of a famous wharf, and enormous ice creams from the dairy (seriously, their single scoop icecreams were double scoops!)
If you like dogs you will ADORE this walk. It's one of the few walks on DOC land I've come across where dogs are allowed and because of that there were so many cute puppies around every corner (disclaimer: every dog to me is a puppy whether they are a couple of months old or not!)
I first went to Morere Hot Springs when I was a kid. In the decades since I last visited, it has changed from childhood memories but it still has great hot pools, incredible bush, and is a wee slice of paradise in the middle of nowhere!
Want a waterfall you can wade out to, a meandering river, a bush walk, and then another waterfall you can admire from a quiet lookout? Have I got the place for you!