The weather forecast was correct and the day dawned fine but cool. By the time we reached our start point the temperature was reading a chilly 11c, well chilly for mid summer but then we were 860m above sea level.

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Our starting point, I suggested Fanthams Peak (summit to left of picture) to Ruth but she gave me an extremely firm NO. By the time we got back I was pleased that I listened to her
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Our initial climb gave us great views of the summit which was doing a little sunbathing at the time.
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We descended 600m down this ridge line before making our way back up another for 500m

I had suggested to Ruth that we climb Fanthams Peak but she sensibly said that it was far too early in our adventure to be undertaking a climb like that. I pointed out that the Tongariro Crossing would be similar but she said that we would be fitter by then. We opted to do a loop walk; up, down and around.

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The alpine flowers were prolific at the higher altitude – Mountain Foxglove
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Some type of Alpine Daisy
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Ruth thought these would look great in her garden but we would need to put an air conditioning unit in as well

As it transpired, the 11km walk that we did was exhausting enough, the initial climb up to 1200m was steady but the drop down through the bush to 600m was quite challenging. We decided that we are uphill kind of people. However, there was plenty to keep our interest. At 1200m it was stunted shrubbery and mountain flowers, especially mountain foxglove and daisies. But as we descended the trees grew taller and heavily moss covered, goblin forest is the term locals use to describe it.

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If you are ‘into moss’ then this is your kind of country – there were more varieties than I have ever seen
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It looked for hosts and became a host
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The ‘hanging off branches’ variety
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The conditions were challenging for getting good pictures but it kind of shows the moss on the trees

There were several stream crossings and one particularly high suspension bridge that was not a great idea if you suffer from vertigo.

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Ruth displays different river crossing techniques
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One person at a time and looking down was not recommended – losing your nerve mid bridge was not an option

After 4.5 hours we were happy to find our way back to the car. We agreed it was a very pleasant walk. The car park at the Dawson Falls visitor center was full, people everywhere, but the tracks were deserted. They did not know what they were missing.

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One of the many crystal clear streams we crossed
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Lichen like you have never seen before

 

 

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