This trip is really trying hard to turn us into early birds and on our last day in Wellington we left the hotel at 7:00 am. The plan was for me to pick up Cristian for a day-hike in the Wairarapa region just north of Wellington. Bea preferred to spend the day with Cookie and Mini-Cookie in Wellington.
Ever since we had spent a night at the Waiohine Gorge campground nearly two months ago I was so fascinated by the landscape that I always wanted to come back for some hiking. After a couple of hours of brooding over the map I had to admit that the 2-3 day ‘Mt Holdsworth-Jumbo Circuit’ with its alpine route section was maybe a bit too ambitious for me and chose a 14 km day-section of the ‘Holdsworth-Kaitoke Track’ from Holdsworth Lodge to Waiohine Gorge instead. The girls would pick us up around 5pm from the Waoihine Gorge campground.
The weather was fantastic for hiking and the track was just what I was always looking for: a narrow footpath overgrown with roots … sometimes washed away or completely lost in a riverbed or in the grass. You really can’t get any closer to nature than that and after we left the first section of the track – the one that led up to Mount Holdsworth and Jumbo 😦 – we didn’t meet another soul for the rest of the day.
A good hour later than expected we finally reached our destination in Waiohine Gorge, where the girls had just arrived five minutes before us. Together we drove another hour to the start of our track to collect the other car, before Cookie and Cristian returned back to Wellington and we dropped into the first motel we saw in Masterton and were pleasantly surprised by a very stylish hotel for the night.