Te Mata Peak - the Giant among us.

We climbed a giant! Rising out of the plains of Hastings is Te Mata Peak, a glorious park with heaps of walking trails, forests, views and legends.

Te Mata Peak - the Giant among us.

It’s been on our ‘to-do’ list since we arrived here and finally we woke up to a beautiful frosty morning and decided that today was the day!

Packing the bags was exciting… picnic food has a whole new dimension if we can only eat it when we get to the top of the mountain! In goes the ‘just in case’ Spotty Otter waterproofs, so light weight that they barely notice, in goes food, more food and a couple of drinks for good measure. But…I didn’t have a map! As you may know, maps are really important in my roaming adventures and all we had was a signpost map at the start then coloured markers to follow. Pick a colour, that’s the trail you stick with. How were we to manage with that?! Trust I guess.

So Ramona picked Blue…the longest trail at about 2-3 hours. Slightly optimistic, I reckoned but, hey, let’s at least get to the top and we can always just return the way we came. But I reckoned without the sticking power and determination to roam of my awesome Little Trekkers!

Up, up, up was the first half an hour, through native bush, open grassland and hillside ducking in and away from the road until we emerged at the top where the road ends and the carpark is full of trippers catching the heights by car. An awesome 360 degree view from the Ruahine Mountains, 40 mins drive West, to the sun gleaming off the Pacific Ocean a mile to the East. Napier and Hastings stretch out below us and the characteristic coastal humps, bumps and ridges follow the sea line.

Down, down, down some steep cliff sides that had me clinging to Eomer (“Muum, I’m fine, why are you holding me?” “So you can help me!”), until we reached the fantastic Giant Redwoods. Wonderful for rowdy hide and seek, den building and stream bridges – but that’s another for another day.

We lost the trail admiring some plucky mountain biker kids hauling down the tracks (don’t get any ideas yet my two, please!) but instead found a native bush trail and awesome limestone cave…very cool!

Eventually, as my own legs were starting to complain, the kids had a final ‘get there first’ sprint up and over a rocky bluff and suddenly we were back at the car – surprise! Can’t wait to get lost in Te Mata again – which trails will we end up on this time

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About the Author

Ruth Lively-Masters

Ruth Lively-Masters

About Me & Mine

Having lived in N. Devon for the last 12 years, we recently moved across to the other side of the world and now live in New Zealand on the North Island. Our adventurous family includes my husband Phil and 2 small cheeky children: Ramona 8½ and Eomer 5½. I have a wonderful day job as Lead teacher in the sensory unit of an SEN school and spend as much time as possible outside, exploring nature and environments both on our doorstep and further afield.

Favourite place in the world:

Hmm, that's really tough! I loved the west coast forests of British Columbia in Canada, such a humbling, incredible place - tall trees right down to the big ocean waves. There's a whole lot of other places I'd love to explore though...moving to New Zealand has opened up a whole world of new adventures and we’re slowly finding new favourites to add to the list.

Sea, mountains and forests in any combination please!

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Again, lots of favourites. Definitely a mix between walking, cycling, surfing, camping and exploring, combined with taking time to notice detail of a place, hear the sounds and absorb the changes over time and seasons. Active and quiet times are both invigorating for different reasons.

Comments (6)

  • Kylie


    08 August 2016 at 15:31 | #

    The view in your second photo is amazing!


  • Jennie Abell

    Jennie Abell

    21 August 2016 at 10:07 | #

    Ruth am very inspired by your move to New Zealand.......did you have jobs before you went or did you just go how long are you out there for or have you made a permanent move. Your blogs are really interesting and full of great photos.


  • Kerry Teague

    Kerry Teague

    22 August 2016 at 21:26 | #

    New Zealand looks so amazing. Ash and I were going to go for our honeymoon and then I unexpectedly got a teaching job at home. This meant we could only have gone in the Uk summer/NZ winter and we didn't really fancy that. We spent the money we'd saved on sea kayaks instead and resigned ourselves to probably never getting to go. Looking at your pics, and now that we've discovered we love skiing, the UK summer is looking like a fab time to go. We just need to work out how to save the cash to fly 4 of us out now! Ah well - something to aim for (as well as our Canada family kayaking/open boating trip that we dream about!). I hope you're all settling in really well (it certainly looks like you are). I'm really looking forward to all the Kiwi blog posts!


  • Ruth Lively-Masters

    Ruth Lively-Masters

    09 September 2016 at 02:09 | #

    Hey Kylie, yes the view is amazing! From the parts of NZ we've seen so far, the landscape is quite extreme: lots of flat land with river valleys then suddenly great big hills and lumps and bumps. Apparently its the continuously moving land that has made such a varied landscape. Very cool!


  • Ruth Lively-Masters

    Ruth Lively-Masters

    09 September 2016 at 02:11 | #

    Hey Jennie

    Yes, Phil had a job offer in a school which gave us enough points to qualify for residency visa. Hopefully it is a permanent move! Loving it so far!


  • Ruth Lively-Masters

    Ruth Lively-Masters

    09 September 2016 at 02:14 | #

    Thanks Kerry, from what we have seen so far, NZ is pretty amazing! We have always wanted to move here but, like you, jobs, houses and kids kind of happened and life kind of zoomed on by. It was a big step - and neither of us had actually ever even visited! - but we just wanted a new adventure in life.
    And here we are! Lots of stress and moments when it all nearly didnt happen but hooray!


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