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.
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
About the Author
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.