Our favourite places:
Lunch with a view over Mount Taranaki
If you want a hike where you can have a beautiful lunch with a view, make sure to do the Pouakai Hut hiking trail at Egmont National park. It will lead you up to a mountain in front of Mount Taranaki, called Henry Peak (1220m) where you will have a great panoramic view of Mount Taranaki. At Henry Peak we made a stop to have our lunch and could have stayed there for hours just to look at the nice view of Mount Taranaki.
From Henry Peak there’s a little trail down to the Pouakai Tarn Lake which mirrors Mount Taranaki when it’s not frozen. The Pouakai Hut is located about 20 minutes from Henry Peak, and has space for up to 16 people. Hiking up to Henry Peak was quite a nice experience and very different from all the other hikes we’ve already done in NZ, since it consisted almost all the way of wooden stairs for 13 km. The whole hike took us about 5 hours, was fun and easy to walk.
Mount Maunganui – A walk up to heaven
One of our last stops was in Mount Maunganui which is located right next to Tauranga. The walk up to Mount Maunganui feels like walking up to heaven since the views you will see going up the mount look like paradise. You will see on one side of the mountain a peninsula with picturesque white sand beaches and on the other side of the mountain you will face the Tauranga harbour on the right and on your left you see the town of Mount Maunganui.
It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to reach the top of the mountain.
The “Blue pools” in Putaruru
Whenever you come across South Waikato make sure to walk the “Te Waihou Walkway” along the Blue Springs in Putaruru. You can make a roundtrip walk which is about 5km long or also just do the short way to where the blue pools start in only 10 to 15 minutes.
The walkway is follows alongside blue pools almost the whole way, and invites you to take the most beautiful, scenic, Instagram-worthy pictures. The water of the Blue Springs is crystal clear and the colour of the springs ranges from turquoise to bright blue. Visiting the blue pools was very special for us since we have never seen such beautiful, unreal-looking springs, and is a must do when you are travelling the north island of New Zealand.”
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