Day 66 / 67. Jan 9 / 10. Whakapapa to National Park. 24km.
The sky had finally cleared to blue after too many days of grey. The walk out of Whakapapa was special with beautiful views of Ruapehu and Ngāuruhoe, although the latter was still stubbornly covered in cloud. It was a warm day and I really enjoyed the varying Alpine ecosystems and magnificent views across bogs with darting dragon flies and forest with dappled sunlight. Met a TA on the track from Ireland who grew up only 20km from where I grew up. Stayed at National Park YHA and met another Irishman who was an Irish sheep dog trials judge and having a great time touring around NZ in a van. Got me thinking how close this area is to Kapiti where I live and how little I’ve visited. Must fix that after I’ve finished this trail.