It is the bathing place of our older people,
tupuna, it’s a spiritual place too, to Tuhoe, to myself, it’s home.
I think as far as difference of scenery in New Zealand, Waikaremoana has amazing forest.
The botanical diversity is the most impressive in New Zealand. Great climate, impressive
bluffs, mountains, that real classic North Island bush-clad scenery.
[music] The great walk follows the shorelines of Lake
Waikaremoana. We’ve got beautiful panekire that’s at the head of the lake, if you like,
and it’s mingled with the ancient forest. Large tracks of forest which have remained
untouched for thousands and thousands of years. [music]
I’ve done it once before, and spectacular. Beautiful, mind blowing. Nothing short of
amazing. Yeah, we’re hoping to see a few birds, and
see some great views, as well. Just good to get time-out, you know, and escape from everything
[laughter] for a while. Yeah, not watch TV, and have no cell phone
reception for a while. [music]
Anyone who wants to get in to tramping, this would be a really good moderate level tramp.
As long as you pace yourself, I would say that anyone of a moderate fitness level would
be able to do it, and do it comfortably. Pretty amazing to be able to bring my Nanna
on this walk with, it’s been her lifelong dream to walk the Waikaremoana track. And
she thought she was never going to do it. So, I suppose you could say, she took it off
her bucket list. She loved it. [music]
One of the major points of Waikaremoana, it has a real sense of history. Amazing place
and you can’t help but feel there’s something out there. It’s an amazing place to hang out,
amazing place to be. Be prepared to get to know yourself. Know
yourself really well. The isolation allows you to drain your normal daily thoughts and
pressures, to realize who you are as a person, and that connection with the whenua. A lot
of people don’t realize what that is until they experience it. And they walk away from
this kind of place with a renewed and refreshed outlook on life. I think it’s a spectacular walk to do, a lot of people do, only in one day, is the Mount Tongariro Alpine Crossing. But there’s so much more to it. There’s the Eastern side
of Mount Tongariro, the Tama lakes area, the Waihohonu area. And you can put all that together
as a two or three day circuit. So many different landscapes, and everything
is so close together. It was pure fresh air.
Massive tree ferns, pongas, then you’ve got the ice from the hills, and the snow.
[music] Certainly on the summit of Red Crater, it’s
one of the most spectacular views you’ll see anywhere in the world. The Emerald Lakes is
quite often the lunch stop, and then it’s down into Central Crater, which again is a
flat eroded area up to the ridge on Blue Lake. Then you come through the saddle in between
Rotoponga and North Crater, and sidle round North Crater.
Nice to see it, kind of seismic, live, full colours. Something I’ve never seen before.
It’s a spectacular place, Ketetahi. Our highest hut on the northern circuit, 1456
metres, and as you’ve seen today, spectacular views from this hut. It’s set amongst all
the red tussock, and when the sun goes down it’s golden. It’s a beautiful place. It’s
my favourite hut, always has been. Descending into the Oturere valley, it’s quite
spectacular. It’s like a moonscape. Quite a unique formation all the way through, and
lots of people write in the log book at Oturere that they’ve walked on the moon.
[music] It’s a really nice facility. It really suits
its environment, and it’s just a nice place to come to when you’re tired and hungry and
cold. At night time you walk in, and the lights are on, and it’s nice and warm, and yeah.
It’s just a great spot. [music] Still get a tingle every time I go to certain places in the park. It’s a special place and I love it. That river it was just fantastic. I haven’t
had an experience like that before. It means everything. It’s just the life force
of the whole place. It comes from the mountain, straight to the sea. It’s good bringing tourism into the area. A lot of them we see talk about going to get a cultural experience on the river. We’re all for it. It’s what gives us a chance to speak and show who we are. We basically try to give every river user a powhiri during the end of the day just before the sun goes down we’ll do one powhiri. We’ll welcome everyone on the marae and our aim
is just to give everyone a little bit Whanganui-style and allow them to enjoy the beauty of this
place. We’re at the Mangaparoa landing and it’s along
the Wanganui journey and people normally stop here to access the bridge to nowhere.
It’s just amazing to see a bridge out in the middle of nowhere.
The Mangaparoa track is actually part of the Mountain to See cycle trail as well. It’s
quoted by the Kennett brothers who are the mountain bike gurus in New Zealand as “If
there’s anyone adventure ride you’re going to do this year this should be it”.
I’m a local. I love the place so it’s good to see that more and more people coming to
visit it. So we’re at Mangawaiti campsite. Back in the
day a lot of Maori used to live high up in the river so they used to have their marae
and pa sites up similar to the campsite. The Wanganui journey runs right through the centre
of one of the country’s biodiversity projects called Ke Wariti. The project aims to improve
forest condition and increase bird species. If people are doing the journey not only do
they get an understanding of the rich cultural landscape but they also get a good picture
of the biodiversity work happening in the area as well.
To see it up and running and starting to get a bit greener a few more of the native species
coming through and then more kiwis and blue ducks and that’s what it’s all about really.
It’s keeping it nga hiri up and running because once we lose it that’s one of the great walks
or national parks gone. The bush is looking fantastic and green and
an increase in some bird populations, kakariki and robin, and as you can see lots of fantail.
It’s pretty alive at the moment. You’ve got really settled weather for long
periods of time. You’ve got native bush right down to the sea. You’ve got the granite rocks
with all the different shapes. [music]
It’s really terrific. It’s really nice. Beautiful weather. Beautiful beaches. Seals, birds.
It’s one of the highlights of New Zealand. So that’s why we come here.
So it’s our first tramping experience, but it’s been great.
[music] Kayak the first day, camp out, and then hike
the second day. The beaches are amazing and had a great day
so far. Absolutely stunning weather. We’re loving it so far. The sun is out. We’re happy. [music] From sort of April, May, June, a fantastic
time to come here to the Abel Tasman because you’ve got a great change of having the beach
completely to yourself. They get to see it in its pristine, peaceful time.
[music] Everyday is really different and that’s what
we really look forward to enjoying. [music] It’s like a Roman road or something. It’s great condition. Very comfortable. We’re getting a lot of people come through and they all seem pretty happy
with it. [music] We’ve spent two nights out listening for grey-spotted kiwis and had pretty good success. [music] They’ve got native bush and the Golden Downs which is all tussock and the beautiful nikau palm forests and the beaches and the river.
Well, three days of sunshine was a big highlight. The beach, first day, awesome.
Yes. Heaps of palms. It’s almost like you’re on
a little island sometimes. [music] It’s beautiful. Everywhere you turn, there’s something amazing to look at. [music] It’s good to start with this one, because it goes back to the point of origin, and you don’t need to worry about leaving your luggage. It was beautiful walking along the top where the trees are very cleared. Then you get out, and it’s a beautiful view, and it was all
worth it. [music] We’ve met people that are, for example, travelling on the South Island and they’re not really tramping. They don’t see the beauty of it. You have to get onto the tracks into the wild to experience it. [music] I think it’s good to start with the Great Walks because everything is safe, and controlled, and everything. So it’s a good start. [music] It’s good. It’s the type of thing you can do on your own and you meet people. [music] It’s very nice to come here and be able to
have wilderness that’s still wilderness. But, at the same time, you can come to a nice hut
and have a place to stay for a reasonable price.
[music] Oh, it’s wonderful. It’s the first track I’ve
ever done in my life so it’s a good way to start.
The scale of the mountains, the waterfalls, colour of the water.
[music] Yes, fantastic. Couldn’t have asked for better
weather. The snow across the top. Reasonably challenging but fantastic. Great views. Great
scenery. Really good. [music]
I’ve got a friend who lives in Queenstown. We’ve spoken about it quite a few times and
I thought, “What the hell I’ve done lots of trekking in Australia. This is just awesome.
[music] These huts are crazy. Just awesome.
I wasn’t expecting flush toilets and toilet paper so that was pretty fancy I guess.
I was like psyched up for a real challenge but I actually think it’s a bit easier than
what I’ve expected. [music]
The sights and sounds and seeing a good chunk of New Zealand at the same time is pretty
awesome. Going up over McKinnen Pass it was just phenomenal. It snowed yesterday morning
and then we got to go up over and It was pretty breathtaking. It was stunning.
[music] [music] It surpasses the pamphlet, the Routeburn
is better than the pamphlet. Most beautiful part of New Zealand. [music]
One of the great walks, isn’t it? [music] And we’ve heard like this is one of the best
walks in the world. It’s like in the top ten, so we thought, “Yeah, definitely want to come
down and do it while we’re here.” [music] You should of been here when the fog lifted,
like we were, “Yahoo.” Oh, that was fantastic. [music]
Think it’s honestly like a postcard. We’ve been here a number of times but this is–
We were here just last year in Summer. We’re going to bring everybody back here.
[music]. My husband and I did the Milford Track last
year and thoroughly enjoyed it, so we thought we’d try it again and here we are. [music]
Yes, top spot. [music] The track’s stunning. [music]
The Routeburn has more pine above the bush line, better alpine views. [music]
The actual tracks and the huts and scenery is fantastic.
Yeah, and the track quality is really good too. It obviously very well maintained and
pleasure to walk on really. [music] We just took some amazing photos up there,
it was just absolutely beautiful so I highly recommend doing it.
Yeah. [music] We have done quite a few of the walks, and
I’d have to say it’s right up there. It’s one of the best ones. It’s fabulous. I guess
we’re lucky, look at this weather. It’s very clean, the people are very friendly.
I think that’s the attraction of an island, you come with that sort of isolation aspect
in mind. We’ll get beautiful calm days right through
from November through to March, but even those shoulder seasons where it all stretched through,
then come sneak in before March, October. It’s nice and quiet so you can walk the tracks
and there’s not too many people there, and right through to April.
The big beautiful rimu�s and rata, they’re just all around us. It’s up in the rimu�s,
we’re getting basically another forest in itself. We’ve got all the epiphytes there
clinging to the tree. You can see the broadleafs, the ferns and they just– there’s another
forest up there just growing. On Stewart Island everybody talks about the
mud, but on the Rakiura track that’s a fallacy, because what we’ve done is we’ve gone to a
great extent to make the track hard and comfortable to walk.
And what we’ve come across here is these old steam pullers, and these were used for pulling
or lowering logs down through the bush. It was sort of on dusk, and Peter spotted
these two kiwis, and it was just and awesome experience.
We’ve done a lot of walks and we’ve never seen a kiwi in the wild. We’ve seen them in
captivity but never in the wild. It’s something everybody wants to do. I mean, you go on a
tramp in the hope that you’re going to see something quite unique, and you know, we scored
on this occasion, so it was fantastic. And the fun was going out there just on darkness
and were we going to see one or when we going to see one and then we did and it was awesome.