Monday 19 September 2022
I just completed the Aotea Track for the second time, with a few friends and work colleagues. On Saturday we flew to the island and walked from Whangaparapara to Kaiaraara Hut, with a side trip to Bush's Beach. On Sunday we walked up Kaiaraara Track to Mt Hobson/Hirakimata for fantastic views around the whole island and the outer Hauraki Gulf. A few of us did a side trip to Windy Canyons. We stayed the night at Mt Heale Hut which is pretty close to Hirakimata and also has incredible views. On Monday (today) we walked down to Kaitoke Hot Springs for a dip and then along the road to the airport for the flight home. The weather was good during the weekend; we had some rain today but it didn't cause us much trouble. We had a great time, and I feel very refreshed.
I was surprised to see no trampers on the track or in the huts, other than our group. There aren't many good tramping options near Auckland, especially during the winter, and this is a great one. Getting to Great Barrier is easy if you fly (about $300 round trip). Altogether I expected this track to be more popular.