I have been fortunate enough to have resided in the North Island of New Zealand for the last 2 years. During that time I have tried to get out and explore as much as possible, with each visit discovering new places, new experiences and all the while taking new images for my personal photography portfolio.
With several national parks and forests reserves dotted around, you will never be short of possible adventures here, with a wide variety of different scenes and environments to go and embed yourselves in. Whether it be the interest in the geothermal activity of NZ's north island, the mountain tops and endless ridge lines, or the sublime coastline that lines this island, there's no limit on what you can get up to in the Great Outdoors of New Zealand's North Island.
Much of my outdoor experiences have been by foot; I simply love to hike. I find great satisfaction in reaching destinations just by putting one foot in front of the other, it's truly amazing the sights we can see when we do just that. From the hiking that I have done here, I'd love to share with you some of my favourite multi-day hikes I have done so far, which hopefully may give you the inspiration to come and take on some multi-day hikes here yourselves some day!
Nestled in the south-west of the North Island is Egmont National park, a place truly dominated by one of the most formidable sights you would have seen to date; Mount Taranaki. It's distinct cone shape as well as it's grandeur will have you gazing at it endlessly. The 23km Puoakai circuit begins from the Egmont visitor centre, sidling around the mountain itself before crossing over to the Puoakai range. Up here, you get a front row seat to gaze at the mountain and the surrounding plains. The views from here are second to none and although the climb to the top of this range consists of more steps than you'd like, your efforts will be rewarded tenfold.
Mt Taranaki as seen from the Puoakai Range
On of the many boardwalks on the Puoakai Circuit
Out of the reaches of the capital, Wellington, the Tararuas lies just 1 hour north near the town of Masterton, or accessible from the West Coast at Otaki Forks. The Tararuas ranges are the place to go to experience
a classic New Zealand tramping adventure, with endless tussock-top ridge lines and peaks, you could venture on a peak-bagging frenzy here if that's what you enjoy. Home to New Zealand's first born tramping club, the Tararuas are somewhat an old favourite of many. The renowned 'Jumbo Circuit' is a popular overnight route, whilst many long-term favourites include 'the southern crossing' & 'the northern crossing'. Whilst many tourists are driven to the acclaimed 'Great Walks', the kiwi's and those in-the-know come here to experience a classic tramping journey.
The sun setting as seen from Tarn Ridge Hut
A view across the ranges from Angle Knob
A night under the stars at Tarn Ridge Hut
Tongariro Northern Circuit
A popular route through New Zealand's first National park; the Tongariro Northern Circuit will take you on a journey through some of the most acclaimed geothermal landscapes in the world. Surrounded by 3 Stratovolcanoes during your walk at all times, you will sense the feeling of minority walking next to the gigantic peaks around you. A dual world heritage site and for good reason, the Tongariro Northern Circuit is one of New Zealand's 9 Great walks, so definitely one you should consider ticking off whilst in the North Island!
The view of Mt Ruapehu from Tama lakes
Battling some winter elements at the start of the Northern Circuit.
That's it from me for this blog! Thanks for reading and I'll look forward to posting the next one!
If you haven't already, be sure to follow my instagram page: @jackaustinphotography for my current adventures around the Great Outdoors of New Zealand!
See you next time