Apologies to fishos for more Tongariro Crossing info – instead of their fishy fix…
Following the well researched extensive history and description of three generations of trampers huts at Waihohonu – see last Monday’s report – SWMBO received a ‘complaint’ that we had not included any images of the track?… They – prospective trampers hoping to do the Tongariro Crossing over Easter – were concerned about getting lost in the Central Plateau desert. At least it proves someone reads this stuff. So we are happy to oblige..
We can confirm the track is clearly marked with marker poles as well in case it snows. In fact we can confidently report that any tourist tracks managed and maintained by DOC in the Tongariro National Park are very well maintained and clearly marked. Even where there are ‘wash-outs’ a new track has been formed.
The photos below illustrate what trampers are likely to experience on the ‘alternative’ Tongariro Crossing route. It is all good.
As the Ketetahi Hut route is closed due to volcanic activity nearby, this alternative route sends trampers to the Waihohonu huts via the Otutere Hut on the Northern Tongariro circuit and they end up being picked up on the Desert Road.
The full distance is 24 km – longer than the original but well worth the effort.
All TRM’s trampers last Sunday also included the climb up Mt. Ngauruhoe and still easily arrived at the Desert Road before the Tongariro Expeditions shuttle bus pick-up at 4 pm.
Just beautiful. Thank you DOC.
Tongariro River Motel Daily Report for 25 March 2013
Tongariro River Motel Daily Reports usually portray fishing experiences of guests (‘inmates’) but occasionally expand to acknowledge the holiday activities of others who stay here and include their tramping tracks around the Central Plateau. At the top of the list is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – with over 70,000 walkers each year it qualifies as the most popular walk in NZ (- even more than Taupo fishing licence sales!).
So regular fisho ‘subscribers’ will have to bear with us for the occasional comment aimed at that unfortunate other species who have not discovered the joys of the Tongariro River and who have not learnt to fly fish – yet.
As TRM received more enquiries following the Daily Report last Saturday re the “Alternative” Tongariro Crossing which now emerges out on the Desert Road via the Waihohnu Huts, we provide the following elaboration. Who knows? – even fishos may find it interesting…
This alternative is recommended over the shorter ‘there and back’ version. It is longer at 24 km but the additional distance is rewarded by the more variable scenery and the facilities available. Today we show you the Waihohonu huts and facilities from our visit last Saturday – so that we could advise TRM inmates who were proposing to do the alternative route on Sunday.
Waihohonu is linked to the earliest days of European travel and exploration.
The road now known as the Desert Road was formed in 1893 between Waiouru and Tokaanu. Pine trees, visible over the tussock, were planted as markers indicating where coach horses were rested or changed on route.
In 1894 a campsite was established at Waihohonu by George Allen, a surveyor. The camp was described as offering ‘plain but comfortable’ (ditto TRM?) accommodation.
Mr. Allen provided mountain guides, fresh horses and a welcome cup of tea for weary travellers.
“Hour after hour we jogged up and down over the bumpy road slowing almost to a halt to splash through the shallow streams and making slow progress as the horses strained to pull through sandy patches” H.M. Fletcher – Tales of Early Taupo
Coach travel and tourism through the area increased and the Grand Tourist Route (Wanganui [without the 'h'] to Pipiriki to Waiouru to Tokaanu to Taupo to Rotorua) became the fashionable and practical way to journey through the Central North Island.
In those days the trip took five days. Men and women had separate bunk rooms and while the men stayed warm by the fire, the ladies only luxury was a mirror.
“They came to the jetty dressed in their Sunday best – the women in frilly white blouses, large hats, and long pleated skirts. The men wearing three piece suits and hats. Boarding one of the many Whanganui [with an 'h' this time?] River boats, they travelled inland up the Whanaganui River to the tiny settlement of Pipiriki before venturing by stagecoach out of the river valley and into the Central North Island Desert.” H.M. Fletcher – Tales of Early Taupo
Demand from an increasing number of tourists led the Tourist and Health Resorts Department of the NZ Government to commission building of the Waihohonu Hut. Construction was completed in 1904 and it remains the earliest known example of a recreation mountain hut in New Zealand.
“… a halfway halt at a tin shed where grateful passengers from the coach and enjoyed a mug of hot tea. At one end of the building was a large open fire where iron kettles and tin billies provided boiling water. Here too the tired horses were fed and hobbled and a new team harnessed to the coach.” H.M. Fletcher – Tales of Early Taupo
Completed in 1904, Waihohonu Hut is New Zealand’s oldest recreational mountain hut and was the first hut built in Tongariro National Park.
Considering the extreme weather conditions experienced in the park, together with occasional volcanic activity, the fact that it has survived at all is a fitting testament to the hut’s design and construction.
The wooden frame is built of pit sawn totara hauled overland from nearby Mt. Pihanga. It has an inner and outer layer of corrugated iron filled with pumice which kept the hut warm and also protected it against the danger of fire. The use of pumice in this way may be the only such example in New Zealand. A chimney was erected in 1906.
Facilities were basic. Hessian mattresses were filled with tussock grass and were not always popular.
In 1908 the main railway line connecting Auckland and Wellington was built to the west of Mt. Ruapehu and following its completion demand for accommodation at Waihohonu decreased.
In 1968 a new hut was built across the Waihohonu River and used extensively by trampers and visitors. The new ‘hut’ (hotel?) below was completed two years ago to replace the 1968 version.
Locals suggest it must have been architect designed in Wellington’s Head Office as the original hut built by locals was protected from the prevailing cold south westerlies by the convenient situation in a grove of mature trees open to the warm northerly aspect. Comparatively the new ‘trampers hotel’ is exposed to the south and west polar winds with mature trees on the north side (?) but this is more than compensated by the much improved standard of the accommodation complete with independent hut warden’s accommodation. DOC should be very proud of it.
It really is superb and more appropriate to the increased traffic – many from overseas eco tourists – tramping the northern circuit and now from the latest influx of tourists using this ‘alternative’ Tongariro Crossing route. SWMBO strongly recommends it so I had to go…
And how does TRM know so much about the history? Do you imagine we have a dedicated history research department? Nah - the information was copied from the DOC notices on site… Thanks DOC.
If you are contemplating the list of essential must-do activities on your bucket list then SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed is the manager at Tongariro River Motel) suggests you complete this one – the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – this summer. If it is not on your bucket list then add it now.
Why? It is the best one day walk in NZ.
How can we tell? Very simply, it is the most popular one day walk in NZ.
Kiwis have so many other great walks and other eco touristy activities and have voted with their feet.
Over 70,000 people do it every year. Visitors from all over the world come here just to do it. If you can walk then you can do it. Like all our National Parks, access is free, but may not be for much longer…. So the TAC (“Tongariro Alpine Crossing”) has to be on everyones bucket list.
An alternative to Tongariro Alpine Crossing?
From Turangi Chronicle 14 March 2013 article by Laurilee McMichael:
An alternative to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. After Mt. Tongariro erupted last November, the section of track from Emerald Lakes to the Ketetahi carpark was closed because the track passes too close to the Te Maari Crater to be safe from an eruption. Since then, people have had to turn around at the Emerald Lakes and return to the Mangatepopo carpark.
So Tongariro Expeditions owners, Jared and Mandy Thomas, have come up with an alternative, a 24 km 8-10 hour tramp which takes hikers the normal route from Mangatepopo to Emerald Lakes, then diverts to part of the northern circuit track to Oturere and Waihohonu Huts. They are dropped off at the Mangatepopo car-park and collected at a car park on the Desert Road.
The couple say that although the new track is 4 km longer than the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the views are spectacular, the track is in good condition and it is proving popular with walkers.
Mandy says the descent is not as steep and the views are better.
“Yous ee panoramic mountain views that keep changing all day and the actual terrain changes all the time.
There’s rivers and bridges to cross and two different huts to come across. It just feels like there are so many different things to see.”
Although challenging the walk can be done by any reasonably fit person.
Commercialisation of the National Parks trails?
Should visitors be paying to walk or use facilities in our National Parks? That is the question. The issues are complex and everyone with a title like GM or CEO cannot stand the thought of 70,000 trampers doing it for free. But that is also why they will soon find a solution which is most likely to charge tourists. Then the next question is to identify who are the tourists? Overseas tourists only? Domestic tourists? Everyone? The Tourist Industry is riddled with conspirators making threats in their peculiar PC jargon:
TIA Chief Executive Martin Sneddon’s latest promise is “to engage with the industry, take a thorough look at all the perspectives and quickly find solutions”. He says “I have indicated to our members that we should be going back to a clean slate and looking at the whole of this package of issues through different eyes”.
The General Manager of Tourism for MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) Adrienne Meikle says “We are always open to considering new ideas from the industry and look forward to engaging with the industry on these issues in more detail over the next year.”
Lincoln University Tourism Professor David Simmons suggests that “We have to move away from providing so much free of charge, when things are certainly not free of cost.”
Southland District Council Mayor Frana Cardno, says “… It is needed for providing infrastructure. All our small towns on tourist routes are currently seen as a burden on ratepayers, where tour buses stop to use the toilets. Without funding how do we keep them clean, never mind upgrading them…” etc. (Taupo District Council solved that toilet maintenance issue at Turangi. They removed them…)
When they hide behind industry jargon like “engage with the industry” they really mean finding a method on how to squeeze more revenue out of you. It all looks like the greedies will get their way… It is just another tax. And you thought that is why we have DOC? DOC sell concessions to provide for track maintenance etc. But that is not enough. And you imagined that freedom of entry to our National Parks is enshrined in the legislation? Sorry. Blame Rogernomics. “User pays” has infiltrated the Kremlin. Worse, the precedent is being established by anglers. They are now scheming and planning to charge overseas anglers an additional access fee. Inevitably, next will be the National Parks.
SWMBO’s view? To charge them at all is ridiculous. They should be encouraged – not discouraged. She maintains overseas anglers should not pay any licence fee at all. But then She might be considered biased. This is the thin edge of the wedge. If they get away with it they will be charging our grandchildren to hike or bike up the Tongariro River. It is called ‘progress’?
So plan your stay at TRM now to “freedom walk” the Tongariro Crossing before they decide to charge you for it. OK?
Tongariro Alpine Crossing Update:
7 March 2013
Tongariro Alpine Crossing – MEDIA RELEASE
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
(Images by Tongariro River Motel after the eruption August 2012)
6 March 2013
Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park
The Department of Conservation is pleased to announce the opening of a further section of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This will take effect from Saturday 9th March, 2013.
DOC Acting Area Manager Bhrent Guy says this is exciting news as it extends the open section of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing from the beautiful Emerald Lakes to the pass between Blue Lake and North Crater. Although it is only approximately another 1.5 kilometres it will allow visitors to have a great view to the north towards Lake Taupō and the Rotoaira Basin.
The Mangatepopo Road access to the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is open but restricted due to limited car parking. When the car parks are full, visitors need to use a local transport concessionaire to be taken to the start of the track.
“DOC staff are working very hard to manage the Mangatepopo Road and car park to give people the opportunity to access the track using their own vehicles. However visitor numbers are still high and the majority of people will still need to use bus transport to the Mangatepopo car park.”
Bhrent advised visitors to book transport from one of the local transport operators to avoid disappointment when the car parks were full.
Te Maari first erupted on August 6, then again on November 21 last year. Monitoring of the volcanic activity at the site has been on-going and there are signs that the activity may be slowing.
However scientific advice to the department indicates the risk of another eruption similar to the August event is still too high to allow public access to the track from Blue Lake Saddle to the Ketetahi car park. This section will remain closed.
A volcanic hazard zone remains in place around Te Maari extending out to 2 km in the south and 2.8 km in the north. Within this the one kilometre radius Rahui protective zone is still in place.
It is hoped that ongoing monitoring and risk assessment will allow a further review of the remaining section of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing by the end of May or earlier.
“DOC is committed to the re-opening of the remainder of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing when the risk assessment shows the risk to the public is within acceptable levels,” commented Bhrent.
Visitors to Tongariro National Park are reminded of the very sacred nature of the mountains. All rubbish must be taken out of the park and visitors must know where toilets are located before they start their walks.
“The tops of these mountains are sacred places and visitors are asked to respect them as they would their own home, says Bhrent.
The volcanic status of Mt Ruapehu remains unchanged since before the New Year with an advisory against entry into the two kilometre radius Summit Volcanic Zone still in place.
Visitors are advised not to enter this zone on the summit of Mt Ruapehu as there is still a heightened risk of an eruption without any prior warning. They are encouraged to take a chairlift ride to the Knoll Ridge and walk on the routes and tracks outside of the Summit Hazard Zone.
However Dr Harry Keys from DOC has been working with information gathered from GNS Science and local pilots and he commented that, “Ongoing monitoring of volcanic conditions of Mt Ruapehu is pointing to reducing risks and therefore the possibility of reducing or removing the current advisory for entry into the Summit Volcanic Zone within the next 2-3 weeks.”
For further information please contact: Programme Manager Community Relations Ruapehu Area Bhrent Guy 021 908565
29 January 2013 – Update:
The Crossing is still closed due to the 2012 eruptions. Only shuttle buses are allowed up the Mangatepopo Road to the start of the track. Private cars are not permitted as parking is very restricted. The ‘Crossing is now a “there and Back” experience – to the summit of the crossing where you can still see everything but then return back to Mangatepopo Road.
(14 October 2012 by Tongariro Expeditions – Shuttle bus operators.)
IT IS OVER!!!!
Finally the winter season is over even thought the weather doesn’t seem so yet.
Just some info for you, currently the entire track is expected to reopen fully by this weekend coming. DOC has cleared the track of any dangerous debris as a result from the eruption; we are just awaiting the all clear from the vulcanologists as to any recent activity.
It will be advised to hikers that they should hike quickly from Ketetahi to the end of the track as a lahar danger is still present which if triggered is expected to pass over the track. We will have updated track info and maps for all our hikers to highlight these risks.
We usual we will be running a number of service times throughout the season, these service times may change from day to day due to the weather and demand. We will be still offering several departure times from the track end returning home so quick hikers do not have to wait for hours, (this has been the most popular service.)
If any of you have any questions or quires please call us on 07 377 0435 but we will be coming around to see you all this week to explain booking systems pricing and times.
Thanks heaps for your continued support over this interesting winter season.
Tongariro River Motel Daily Report for 9 March 2012:
Conservationists embrace technology (not just trees)
The Pocket Ranger contains everything you need to know about the Tongariro Alpine Crossing at your fingertips on the new smartphone application by Project Tongariro in partnership with Department of Conservation.
Android and iPhone versions available and it’s FREE to download!
Project Tongariro in the central North Island has launched New Zealand’s first interactive smartphone application for a National Park.
Called the Pocket Ranger, the free to download app is designed to offer an interactive and multi-media experience that provides interpretation, maps and images of the unique natural features of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing while at the same time conveys important safety messages.
The Department of Conservation has partnered with Project Tongariro with the development of the app as they see it as a fantastic opportunity to enhance the visitor experience to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tongariro National Park. It gives the stories and information about The Crossing and the park to everyone who downloads it. The broader benefits of the app and working closely with Project Tongariro are about investing the funding that the app will generate into a range of restoration projects within the park. Its a win win.
The app is available in both iPhone and Android versions.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is rated as the best one-day trek in New Zealand and listed by many in the top 10 day treks in the world – over 80,000 tourists walk it each year.
“Now people can download as much information as they want, right there on the track,” says Karen Williams, President of Project Tongariro. “It also allows visitors to research the area before they arrive and make sure they are prepared for the changeable weather conditions the region is known for”.
“We’ve been involved with producing books and brochures about the park for years, but the Pocket Ranger is a real breakthrough”.
“With ever increasing smart phone ownership, it made sense to move with the times,” adds Karen Williams.
So even Tongariro River Motel is embracing the new technology too.
The first and best place to discover all about the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the Turangi visitor centre – see their display above.
That should be your first contact for info. and booking bus shuttles, etc. They have a huge display with maps, images, dvd, table mounted model of Tongariro National Park, etc.
Turangi Visitors’ Centre – great place, great people, great service.
Then some more housework…
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
(x Lonely Planet Guide Book)
To avoid having to do a car shuttle, use one of the many transport services available from Turangi. As at 2008 Summer the cost for pick up at TRM to take you to the start at Mangatepopo Road and then collect you some 7-8 hours later at the Ketetahi end and return you to TRM is $35 per person. The web site for the Tongariro Shuttle is on TRM’s links.
Tongariro River Motel also recommend other easier Turangi walks
(Special note here from the Tongariro River Motel security manager, Boof – who adores being taken for walkies!)
The Famous Tongariro River Motel Compulsory Constitutional Walk.
30 minutes return. From Tongariro River Motel cross over Taupahi Road and walk down Te Aho Road towards the river. Pick up the riverside track and turn to the right to proceed up-river. This travels past famous Tongariro River fishing pools including Judges, Island Pool, Major Jones Pool and Breakfast Pool.
A feature of this walk are the sight of anglers standing up to their chests fly fishing the pools. From the elevated track adjoining the flying fox wire across the river you will often spy trout lying at the head of the pool. The usual turn around point is at the Swing bridge and return the same way. Alternatively, if you have enough energy, the track continues up the river past the Hydro Pool (watch the anglers casting their flies to spawning runs in the winter months) for 10 minutes before returning the same way.
Tongariro River Loop Track
1 hour, loop track. (This is popular as a trial run for the Tongariro Crossing – if you cannot complete this in under one hour you may not qualify for the Tongariro Crossing walk.)
From the motel cross over Taupahi Road and proceed down Te Aho Street towards the Tongariro River where the loop track leads to the right – up-river, or to the left – down-river.
Usually the track descriptions start from either the northern end at SH 1 bridge, or at southern end from Major Jones footbridge, Koura Street, Turangi This loop track can be walked in either direction. It is described here from the northern access point on the true right bank of the Tongariro River, just over the Road bridge. Note: the true left or right is the side taken when looking downstream.
Proceeding along the track to the left to cross over the road bridge on the footpath on the left side of the road-bridge and then loop to the left under the bridge if you wish to
avoid SH1 traffic. From the first lookout point, the track climbs steeply to a viewpoint
over the Tongariro River, a trout fishery of international renown. Mt Pihanga, and the eroded volcanoes of the northern range of Tongariro National Park form a backdrop to the town of Turangi.
The track wanders through bush to the Major Jones footbridge at the southernmost point of the track. Cross the bridge and continue the walk back down-river along the true left river bank. This side of the river is an easy level walk in a more urban setting. It passes through a narrow stretch of public land alongside the river.
Again, a feature of this walk are the sight of anglers standing up to their chests fly fishing the pools. From the elevated track adjoining the flying fox wire across the river you will often spy trout lying at the head of the pool.
Tongariro River Walkway
3 hours, return via same track. From Tongariro River Motel proceed across Taupahi Road towards the Tongariro River and turn right heading up-river following the riverside walk. The walkway begins at Major Jones footbridge, Koura Street, Turangi; or down-river from the Red Hut footbridge, 5km south of Turangi, off SH 1
This popular walk follows the Tongariro River south of Turangi. There are good views of the river’s calm pools and rippling rapids as you walk along the high banks above the river. The walk passes through native bush on the river edge and along the edge of private farmland. Keep an eye out for trout in the river pools.
The use of mountain bikes is permitted on this track.
The Department of Conservation (DoC) have been warning about completing the track north of the National Trout Centre (promises, promises?) so that a complete loop track may be in place by the time you read this – ask at the office.
Tongariro National Trout Centre
Tongariro River Motel Daily Report
Friday 26 October 2007
October 26, 2007 at 8:36 pm
· Filed under Daily Report
WINDY sums up the fishing today. It was Turangi’s turn according to guests. Not much good for dry fly or for nymphing, Lake O., Lake Rotoaira, etc. Any exposed areas like the braided area was a test. Tourists would have been blown off the Tongariro Crossing today. Often on days like this TRM have to find some other option to interest tourists ( & fishos) when fishing is difficult. We call it Turangi’s “BDO”. It is a local gem.
It is time we revealed one of our worst kept secrets – about Turangi’s BDO (“Big Day Out”). I wonder if it will ever compete with Auckland’s BDO? I suspect TRM are probably the only tourist operators who are mad enough and brave enough to promote it. (To keep your interest, this should specially appeal to fishing widows, or fishermen’s families, but is aimed more directly at overseas visitors.) Auckland has their BDO for teenyboppers so why not Turangi?
Except this is more the outdoorsy, at one with nature, trout fishing, bush tramping, river views, rural scenery, eco tourism, natural habitats, sedate adventure, watch & listen to native birds, mixing native bush with pine plantations with wilderness views with farms with river walk sort of BDO that appeals to the more mature market.
This is a fabulous under rated eco-trip with the focal point – the Tongariro River, emerging from a World Heritage Area, deserving a better more appropriate style of BDO than Auckland’s version of just listening to very loud noise. (I hope my daughter does not read this) This takes the form of an interesting long, mainly level, jaunt combining rural and bush walking on mostly good formed drained tracks that will take about the same time with less strain than enduring Auckland’s BDO. The starting place is, surprise, surprise, TRM. You will need a day pack loaded with picnic lunch, polaroid sun glasses, drink bottles, wear comfortable tramping shoes – trainers are fine – and need to be fit enough for a leisurely 4 hour walk. About the same fitness level and time necessary for covering all the “shop ’til you drop” places in St. Lukes or Queensgate.
This special circuit route, well known to anglers but not previously promoted for the great unwashed general public, is the swing bridge to swing bridge circuit along the banks of the Tongariro River. The reason we mention this is to pass on the unbridled enthusiasm from many of our guests who have completed this circuit in the last year. About 45% of all our guests come from overseas. While many come just for the world class fly fishing, anglers will not be surprised that there are other alternative outdoor pursuits which bring tourists to New Zealand.
One of the biggest international tourist magnets in NZ is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – a 7+ hour 17km trek over the saddle between Mt. Tongariro and Mt. Ngaurahoe. Every tourist from overseas arrives here with their Lonely Planet guide which clims this is the best one day walk in NZ. It attracts over 60,000 exhausted tourists annually. Unbelievable, considering it is so often closed due to ice or wind or cold or wet or winter snow storms. So our Turangi BDO is a very worthy year round easier alternative. Many who have completed both have preferred it. Many have confirmed it was their best one day walk during their visit to NZ. So it is time TRM shared it with you too.
Previously it was impossible to complete the walking tracks circuit from the Koura Street swing bridge up river (either side) to the Red Hut swing bridge and return back down the other side. But informed TRM walkers who have done their homework (i.e. asked Pip), bird watchers and casual trampers – known in-house as BDOuters – have been doing it for the last year. Ever since DoC completed the walkway from Hydro Pool to link up with the road acess to Admirals Pool it has been available. Previously it could not be promoted on the web as essential direction signage was missing and it included a wade though a muddy stretch – almost needing waders. Now all that has been fixed. New signage is in place and the muddy stretch has been metalled for TRM trampers. Go for it!
Add an extra day to your next visit and put it on your programme of “must do’s”.
All circuit route details are available from TRM’s office.
P.S. TRM’s guide dog Boof, loves going for walkies too.
Tongariro River Motel guest’s letter
Email from Edith Hodgen
dated 7 January 2012:
Just did walk/wade around the lake after some heavy rain – thought you might be interested in the beach-free version!
Thank you to Edith, who stayed at TRM with her relative from Scotland to take her on a special local tramp.
The images are from one of NZ’s best kept secret secluded nature tracks, a 5 km loop around a hidden secluded lake called Lake Rotopounamu.
After Edith’s “wade/walk” she mentioned how high the lake level was and kindly sent us her photos.
If you were unaware of this hike you should really put it on your bucket list for your next visit (- but unless you enjoy wading it might be wise to wait until the tide recedes?)
Lake Rotopounamu lies at the northwest foot of Mt Pihanga, and was formed by a landslide around 10,000 years ago. The car-park for this track is on SH47 about 8 km from Turangi. The native bird life around the lake is quite extraordinary.
Due to the geographical situation in a basin the surrounding area was never logged for native timber as they could not transport the timber out, so it is quite a treasure being in much the same natural condition as when the first immigrants arrived.
The tropical Cyclone Bola in March 1988 did a lot of damage locally felling some of the large mature native trees, many of which were hundreds of years old.
The reason that Edith sent us the images was due to the high tide (?) around the lake when she visited over the Christmas period.
The extent of the flooding can be seen by her friend carrying her boots around her neck as the track was under water in places and the beaches were gone. Edith had never seen the lake so high.
So we compared her two images at top to those two below taken when SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed is the Manager at TRM) hiked around the lake in 2011.
Notice the difference?
Lake Rotopounamu has four small streams feeding it but no natural surface outlet. It appears to just filter through the ground, to emerge as the headwaters for the Tokaanu Stream on the northern side of Mt. Pihanga, developing into a pristine water course highly valued as a trout nursery.
Equally important for local Turangians is that is where Turangi draws an endless supply of pure artesian water. That is why the water in Turangi tastes so sweet. (Much nicer than recycled water from the Waikato!).
Many fishy TRM inmates claim it is worth visiting here just to taste the water, although most TRM fishos prefer to add something to flavour it, whether they have Scottish ancestry or not.