Orongorongo, but Feels so Right

After a week back at work, it’s time to get to some more of our holiday adventures! I’d been wanting to head out toward Wainuiomata (“Wainui”) to do some walks for a while, and we finally decided to give it a go a few days after Christmas. While Wainui isn’t that far, it’s out of the way and not really somewhere you end up unless you make a point to go there. The town itself doesn’t have the best reputation, but we were headed past it to the Rimutaka Forest Park to check out the Catchpool Valley and Orongorongo Track.

To give you an idea, the blue dot is where we live and the red pin is our destination over the hill. That’s about a 40-minute drive, with all the winding roads.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 6.48.55 PM.png

It was a really warm day for Wellington, so luckily most of the trail was shaded. The Orongorongo Track is about 5 km (3 miles) to the river and the same back, so 10 km in all. At the halfway point, we crossed this bridge.

20171230-KRF_4815

Higgs had to be on a lead, since kiwi live in this area (the “Kiwi Zone”). Pretty cool that they’re out here, and while I doubt Higgs would know what to make of a kiwi, let alone attack one, we respect the rules when it comes to native wildlife.

20171230-KRF_4818

Higgs did find some interesting things to sniff, and we wondered if he caught a whiff of a kiwi. They wouldn’t be around during the day, but I’m sure they cross the path at night, knowing how big their territories can be.

20171230-KRF_4820

20171230-KRF_4824

We noticed some incredible, ancient trees towering over the path.

20171230-KRF_4825

It’s hard to make out the tree beneath all the epiphytes, but can’t you just picture the Fern Gully population residing here?

20171230-KRF_4831

These giants have been here much longer than any single human, and it’s humbling to think of all they’ve weathered in their centuries of life.

20171230-KRF_4835

As usual, my companions were waiting on me (patiently).

20171230-KRF_4836

Near the river, there were more kiwi notices from DOC. Higgs looks like he has a mohawk from his tail’s position:

20171230-KRF_4837

Finally, we caught a glimpse of the Orongorongo River below us!

20171230-KRF_4839

This beautiful bridge arched over a stream feeding into the river.

20171230-KRF_4842

20171230-KRF_4844

20171230-KRF_4846

Time for a dip!

20171230-KRF_4849

We made our way down to the rocky riverbed. What an unbelievably beautiful spot! Endless forest stretched out in all directions, and it felt like we’d stepped back in time.

20171230-KRF_4850

20171230-KRF_4851

Let’s zoom on in that look of pure doggo bliss.

20171230-KRF_4851-2.jpg

Yaaaas. Wish I’d brought my swimsuit.

20171230-KRF_4853

Higgs was even feeling brave enough for an actual swim.

20171230-KRF_4855

20171230-KRF_4856

We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

20171230-KRF_4861

There are DOC huts scattered throughout the Orongorongo Valley, so I’d love to come back and stay overnight sometime.  Maybe we’d even be lucky enough to hear kiwi in the wild, calling in the dark.

20171230-KRF_4858

20171230-KRF_4868

20171230-KRF_4869

The sandflies were out in full force, so Andy and Higgs made for the forest while I took a couple more shots.

20171230-KRF_4870

20171230-KRF_4874

On the walk back, we were mostly keen to just get back to some air conditioning, but it was beautiful nonetheless. We passed a lot of dogs and families, and Higgs got quite a few compliments.

20171230-KRF_4883.jpg

Farewell for now, you magical valley! We’ll definitely be back.

Up next, our camping trip to Ōtaki Forks. 🙂

1 thought on “Orongorongo, but Feels so Right

  1. Cool spot. What amazing trees! Higgs is, once again, in his element. (Good that those kiwis didn’t have to face him.) I really like his fauxhawk – a whole new look for him.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close