TRM have been playing tourists. A guest booked in to walk the Tongariro Crossing on Easter Friday. But when we suggested a couple of thousand other tourists had the same idea he immediately cancelled. What he was really looking for was an easy nature walk for about two hours in
Some anglers had recently asked how accessible the track was to get up higher to the Fan Pool? Apart from rafting down the river, I had not walked up there for ages, so I tagged along as well. Anything to get out of the laundry… The tourist from Europe was sold within five minutes from the bridge. He was amazed at the grotto wall of glow-worms.
We did not sight another tourist or walker or biker or angler for the rest of the walk. Recently the fishing has been so easy in the town pools there has not been any need for them to explore far up-river.
Instead of heading down river on the Tongariro River Trail we suggested heading up river towards Boulder Reach.
The anglers access track to get to Boulder Reach is an easy stroll through most attractive varieties of native bush, but above the pool we had to bash our own track through overgrown scrub stumbling over more difficult uneven terrain. Definitely not recommended to anglers in waders!
Along the main track were a number of DOC rat traps. Most had broken eggs – being the bait – and the quarry had escaped… But they were still much better than the alternative…
The Boulder Reach Pool looked fishy enough with no signs of any angler pressure at all. Pools always look so much better when I don’t take a rod. Then instead of trying to read the water we are more aware of the beautiful natural environment and enjoy the scenery instead.
There were no fresh boot footprints along the track except for fresh deer signs discovered beyond the formed track… I think we may have startled one. We heard it but did not see it. Then I realised it was that mad Easter time towards the end of the shooting season! So once we lost any obvious track it was easy for him to decide it might be more sensible to return. I tried to assure him it was out of season for shooting tourists as he proceeded back much quicker on the return trip…
The total time taken at a very easy pace was about two and a half hours. Despite the many cars in the Red Hut car park and tourists walking and biking north towards Turangi on the Tongariro River Trail, we did not see another soul. It was comforting to know there are still such pleasant easy to access secluded bush walks available from SH1, even on the busiest weekend of the year.