Mountain Rd, Taupo, State Highway 5, SH5, Lake Taupo, Kaimanawa Ranges, Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu, Taupo, Mt Tauhara, panoramic views
Mt Tauhara (Taupo)
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)