Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hike to Hirakimata

Hirakimata as the Maoris call it or Mt Hobson by its English name is the highest peak on Great Barrier Island. A nice day hike can be had from the anchorage in Kairara Bay by landing at Bush Beach and walking in to the Kaiarara Hut and thence up to the Kauri Dams.

Tree Ferns and Tea Trees dominate the lower elevations

Remains of a Kauri Dam. The rivers were dammed to make it easier to transport logs to the sea. The logs filled the dammed pools and were released when there was plenty of water. The resulting cascade was apparently terrifying to behold.

Historical photo of this dam

From the dams you proceed up endless flights of beautifully built stairs until you reach a small viewing platform at the top.

View out over the bays of Port Fitzroy with Little Barrier Island in the distance. Ladybug is somewhere in the center bay.

Wider panorama shows the lush green estuary lands on the other side of the island. There are also impressive beaches on this side. 

This time of year is the season for cicadas to make a real din. I suspect they are mating. The noise is almost deafening in places - a shrill pitched chirp combined with clacking multiplied thousands of times.


Kaka - native brown parrot eating insects.

Same kaka. Sorry for the quality of pics - these were the best of about 50 shots if you can believe that.

Coming down I took the gentler route via the South Fork track - longer and still heaps of stairs, but most of the stairs are over quickly (by the time you reach the hut that lies at the head of the valley) The trail then follows the rim of an ancient volcano before joining Forest Road and returning to the Kaiarara hut.

I have been working on re-bedding windows on Ladybug. It takes about three hours for each window and I did the hike today because my hands were so sore from doing two yesterday. I finished another one just after sunset tonight. Only 8 to go.

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