Head to car park at the end of Mountain Rd (just outside of Taupo township, off SH 5). We head through a gate and follow white marker posts across farmland inhabited by indifferent cows. Pretty much straight away, we start our ascent. Even just a few minutes into it, as you look behind you, there is already a pretty cool view of Lake Taupo, Kaimanawa Ranges as well as Tongariro, Ngauruhoe & Ruapehu.
After about 20 minutes or so, the track reaches a couple of water tanks surrounded in blackberry bushes before it then heads into the bush. The prominant track winds its way steadily upwards through the bush at a fairly easy gradient. There is an abundance of birdsong and every now & then you get a few sneak peaks of Taupo as well as the mountain side. There are a couple of rocks to scramble over, but nothing tricky.
After about an hour there is a small stream that briefly runs alongside. Also up here the trees are covered in a wonderful goblin like moss and the way the trees grow over the track give parts of it a tunnel like vibe. We soon reach a part where the track splits in two giving you the option of walking through a cool narrow rock part (kind of reminiscent of Petra) . The alternative track going around the cool rocky bit (maybe for those people who may have endulged in a few pies).
A few minutes after this, the track splits again up a little bit of scree and we arrive at the summit just under 1 1/2 hours. The panoramic view up here is absolutely stunning. The wind up here is pretty cold, so enjoy a hot cuppa and are glad we brought up some warmer clothes. After soaking in the view for a fair while we then make our way back down at a much faster pace than our ascent. about 45 minutes or so later we were back at the bottom. Total tramp time about 2 1/2 hours.
Level Of Difficulty
2.5 Hours - Return (Autumn 2013)
Mountain Rd, Taupo, State Highway 5, SH5, Lake Taupo, Kaimanawa Ranges, Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu, Taupo, Mt Tauhara, panoramic views