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  • Writer's pictureJess is a Wanderer

Jess is a Wanderer on the Pouakai Track

Jess is a Wanderer has tried twice to get the infamous picture of Taranaki reflected in a mountain-top tarn... !

As the alarm was going off at 4am I was genuinely confused. Until I realised that today was the day I was hiking the Mangorei Track to Pouakai Hut. This 2hr one-way hike leads to spectacular views of Mount Taranaki. Unless you do it in the rain (like I did before).

The stars were out, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. As I got to the start of the track I was hopeful for what sunrise was going to bring. Of course, in my usual organised style, I'd charged the batteries (and packed spares), cleared the memory card and brought water and snacks. My only real problem was that my torch was running out of batteries and I had a very steep climb ahead in the pitch black.

Nonetheless, I slipped and scrambled my way up along the boardwalk, steps and puddles. I only lost my footing twice. I was in a race against time to get to the top just in time for sunrise. As I cleared the bush and arrived at Pouakai hut, the stars were still visible and I was more hopeful than ever.

I made it over to the tarn just as the first light was coming. And with it the thickest cloud imaginable. My hopes and dreams of seeing this perfect view had been shattered! But, I was able to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen. That was right before the blizzard began and I became snow-blind and found myself running down the mountain in a race against time because I definitely wasn't dressed to hold up in the snow!

And I'm going to do the hike again, in October, and I'm going to get my view. Third time lucky!

For more pics from Egmont National Park, click here.

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