Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mt. Moehau: Traverse, Then Traverse More

On Tuesday, we took a trip up to the far northern part of the peninsula with the intention of climbing Mt. Moehau, the highest point on the peninsula.

When we got to Stony Bay, we found out that the track was closed, but the woman tending the campground had some other suggestions for us.  We headed through a grove of large trees and into the forest to wander for a while.

Laura stands on the downed trunk of a huge tree, with more huge trees in the background.

We ended up on a trail next to a creek, traveling upstream for a while, until we crossed the creek and headed across a ridge. 

into the woods...

We traversed, then traversed some more, then kept traversing across this ridge.  At some point we realized we were going nowhere, and slow, but it didn’t matter: I was there to be in the forest and to be moving, not to get anywhere.  Journey, not destination.

Along the way, I saw my first wetas.  They were dead, but they were still pretty interesting!

dead female weta

dead male weta

Eventually we came out of the forest onto a grass hillside above Stony Bay.  We goofed around for a while, taking pictures and enjoying the sunshine after being in the shade all day.

someone got his hair pulled out by a twig...

A quick walk down the hill to the grove of large trees, where Dave climbed one of the tallest and I enjoyed an organic pear straight from the branch.

We headed back to Stony Bay for some ocean time.  Dave and Ogre Jon went snorkeling, while I meandered down the beach, exploring a few caves and playing with seashells as I climbed over the rocky shoreline.

view of the cliffs next to the ocean

Then we devoured half a jar of Nutella on the way home.  :-D

We didn’t accomplish what we set out to do, which was climb a peak and get in some practice for our upcoming epic trip to Tongariro, but I had a good day, nonetheless.  Here is a set of pictures from the day:


  1. A weta is a large insect that looks like a cricket or a grasshopper. They're native to New Zealand, and they're extraordinarily ugly... but somehow you can't look away!

  2. A 70 million year old species of cricket - very large and some are beautifully coloured - they were around with the dinosaurs so they look ancient too. But here on Coromandel they are all dead wetas, and what has killed them? Is it Department of Conservations use of poisons that the weta's can't withstand? I guess so - these killer substances didn't exist when they became wetas, why should we expect wetas to live in a loisoned environment?