Sunday 25 November 2018
We spent a couple of days in Raglan celebrating our wedding anniversary. It's a small coastal town a couple of hours drive south of Auckland, famous for surfing, quiet at this time of year though I hear it gets very busy in the summer holidays. We had a relaxing time, exploring the town a little bit and driving down the coast to Te Toto Gorge to climb Mt Karioi. That's a smaller version of the nearby Mt Pirongia — the summit area comprises many steep volcanic hillocks and ridges, all covered in dense bush. The track is rough, and in one place there are chains to help climb up and down. After two and a half hours we got as far as the lookout for some fabulous views over Raglan and the coast further north, and decided not to bother with the extra hour to the true summit. The views over the ocean on the way up were quite spectacular. On the way up we could see the snowy peaks of Mt Taranaki and, from the lookout, Mt Ruapehu — each about 170km away.