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Waihohonu to Whakapapa – Day 4 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit

The Waihohonu Traverse is the name of the stretch of track between Waihohonu Hut and Whakapapa Village.  Yes, I know, Whakapapa sounds a bit rude, but it has a big chateau, so it’s really okay to say it out loud.

This post completes my blog series on the Tongariro Northern Circuit, and is posted quite belatedly.  It’s now over 6 weeks since Mark, Jen and I completed our tramp.  Anyway, our last day on the circuit was a fair bit cooler than previous days.  It started out with some misty rain, some low cloud, and the apprehension that we may not actually see much of the mountains as we passed along.

The Waihohonu Traverse passes through broad, open country, with Mt Ruapehu on one side of the track, and Mt Ngauruhoe on the other.  The tussockland provides clear views in all directions, and the track is relatively easy.  Although there are a few undulations, there are no significant hills to climb or valleys to cross.

We first dropped in on the old Waihohonu Hut, a preserved historical hut that used to serve as accommodation in the olden days.  It’s in a better state of preservation than many of Australia’s high country huts, yet it’s kept more-or-less as a museum with sleeping in it not permitted.  Our traverse then took a turn for the better as we watched the clouds over Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe blow over, and both summits reveal themselves.  This afforded some good photographic moments before the clouds came back, a little more permanently.

This is Old Waihohonu Hut.

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Mark and Jen taking in Mt Ruapehu as the clouds lift.

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This is me and Mt Ruapehu.

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This short video gives a 180 degree panorama of the Waihohonu Traverse, from Mt Ruapehu to Mt Ngauruhoe.

Wildflowers and Mt Ngauruhoe

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Mt Ruapehu

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Mark traversing the Traverse, with the clouds back on the mountaintops.

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Taranaki Falls, near Whakapapa Village.

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The end of the walk – the Whakapapa Chateau

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