Whakapipi Lookout Walk – Mount Te Aroha
Dividing the Kaimai and Coromandel ranges, Mount Te Aroha stands tall at 953 meters and a reasonable amount of fitness is required to climb it. The track was busy the day I decided to do the shorter walk to Whakapipi Lookout which, while not at the top of the mountain, is certainly a good workout for the lungs! The lookout provides an awesome view of the township of Te Aroha and further out over the Hauraki Plains. A sign post at the start of the trail stated the walk should take 45 minutes and I managed it in 35 and was feeling quite proud of myself until another group came while I was enjoying the views from the lookout and announced that they had done it in 25 minutes!!
Plenty of young family’s were doing the climb and the oldest person I saw doing it that day was well into his 60’s so it is a walk that caters for all ages groups in life. Native birds were abundant – especially near the lower part of the mountain and for most of the way a Fantail kept me company flitting near the path and sun filtered through the trees meaning I was neither too hot, nor too cold and all in all it was a very enjoyable walk. The track is quite rugged and it pays to keep a eye on your step as tree roots and stones are everywhere.
If you are planning on going to the top, make sure the day you choose is clear & fine to take advantage of the vast views extending down the North Island right to National Park and Mount Ruapehu. And allow enough time for the mineral soda baths at the base of the mountain when you have done the climb. They are great for erasing tired and aching muscles.