26-Mar-2007 -- Continued from 37°S 175°E.
It was the first confluence visit where I was leading. It was also one of the most difficult but most interesting confluence hikes out of my visiting history up to now.
The day before that day we just came back from the famous “Tongariro Crossing – the most beautiful one-day track of New Zealand”. The mountains, the lakes and the landscapes gave us a very strong impression as we stood at 1900 meter altitude of the world heritage volcanoes region. We were so deeply moved from the natural wonder. Although a 20km hiking day had been over, we went another 47 kilometers by car in the later afternoon to an offside camping ground in Turangi.
We planned to visit the confluence point S39 E176 which had been visited two times before but none of the visits had really accomplished the goal.
We drove the road SH1 northwards. Just after we had passed the small town Motuoapa we turned right inito the Kiko Road. From there the confluence is roughly 12 kilometers in distance.
We didn’t meet any traffic on the road. We were absolutely alone. The road is up and down through the national park. Finally we parked the car on the end of Otomarotonga Road where a narrow service road begins but nobody can enter without a permit.
We changed our walking shoes, took water and some foods with us and started to walk in the direction to the point. The GPS showed a distance for 2.76 kilometers.
The first kilometers were quite easy. Many trees had been fallen down. The earth was dry and barren. When we reached the 300 meters point, we had to leave the path.
We marked the point where we stood with the GPS. (It proofed to be a perfect idea later! Without the marking we wouldn’t have found the way-out again!). We went into the deep forest.
We couldn’t image before that we would need more than 1 hour for the last 300 meters! The forest was wet, dense and hilly. We didn’t see the sunshine anymore. The GPS signal was getting weaker and weaker, so that we lost the directions!
As the GPS showed 150 meters, we stood on the top of a hill. Under our feet was an extra steep slope.
We looked down, trees, ferns and mud, but no trail or path or shoe tracks. It seemed that we had to give up. - But really?
We had a short break and thought through if we could have any chance to reach the point. Yes, we were challenged but it was a risk to try. We went down from the hill, tried to the point again from another side.
We hold ourselves at the trees and went slowly down the slope. We were surprised to find a spring coming up under our feet. The confluence point was 92 meters away; We were in the official confluence area!
It was a pity we couldn’t go closer to the point due to the very difficult topographic situation. But we finally got to S39 E176 within the requirement of 100m!
Our car was so dusty that you could not decide its color.
CP visit details:
- Time at the confluence: 10:00 a.m.
- Time to reach the CP from the main road: 1.5 hours
- Distance to a track: 300 m
- Distance to a road: 2.76 km
- Topography: hilly, deep forest
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 91 m
- Position Accuracy at the CP: 7 m
- GPS height: 525 m
- Vegetation: original forest.
- Weather: sunny, 25° C
- Description of the CP: In the forest in the middle of the North Island close to Taupo lake. In a water supply resort where a permit is needed for the entrance.
- Given Name: The Deep Forest Spring Confluence
Story continues at 38°S 177°E