Well it wasn’t the trip we expected, and not the one we planned, but things went awry in such a beautiful way.
Months in the making, Wairere Boulders lived up to expectations. Unfortunately the weather did not.
We did manage half a day of climbing before the rain got too bad, getting a bit of a taste for the basalt and the unique fluting for this type of rock. A variety of slab, overhang, dynamic and static climbing, there was a something for everyone, and we barely made a dent in the guide book either.
The owners certainly put in a huge effort to setting up the whole site; an amazing set of walkways throughout the farm complete with sections of boardwalk, a sheltered lunch spot complete with a history of the region and all sorts of info on the herblore and rock formations, as well as a sign-game I doubt will ever be matched. The Highland cows even made a not-so-fluffy appearance!
A drizzly Saturday afternoon meant a leisurely meander through the nature reserve and upp to the summit of Magic Rock, the final boulder to stand atop the hill. Despite the downpour, a few of us braved the slippery holds to make our way to the true summit. Getting back down was probably sketchier still. A very chilly dip in the tannin stained river a must do on the return to camp. The rain eased off for most of the evening, giving us the opportunity to warm up around our campfire and roast a few marshmallows, with a brief interlude to rescue a couples’ van from an unnecessary venture into the mud.
With the outlook for Sunday looking much the same, half of the group headed home early. The rest of us stayed on for a west coast wander, and reaped the rewards of not fully trusting the forecasting services. Some intermittent patches of blue sky making stops at Waiotemarama Falls, Tane Mahuta and the Kai Iwi Lakes all worthwhile, with another brief dip in the latter the best way to finish off a well rounded trip.
Thanks to everyone who came along to make this the trip it was!
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