My first hut experience! I’ve been staying in Tairua for about a week, working in an Organic Shop (don’t worry-an exciting blog will detail this WWOOF stay). There are 4 additional WWOOFers in the house including me, three kiddos and the parents. One woman, Elin, is from Colorado! It’s been nice to speak fluently with another American for a week- I’m able to mumble, speak quickly and throw connotation on words that she understands. With our two days off we backpacked to the Pinnacles hut, which is in the Coromandel Range, just NE of Auckland. We lucked out with a beautiful, clear day. It was only a 2.5 hour hike up to the hut and another 45 minutes to the top of the Pinnacles. Easy!
At the hut was a large group of Americans traveling with a study abroad group, learning about science and NZ ecology. After dinner Pete, the hut warden, gave a slideshow presentation of photos from the early 1900s about the Kauri logging. During that time there were hundreds of the Kauri trees, most were around 1,000 years old. They were favored because of the thick, straight and knot-free trunks. Between 1918-1928, about 27 million linear feet of kauri was removed from this area. The biggest tree being 4 meters wide, which the logging men used as their dance floor every third Sunday. There are new Kauri growing in this area, but the oldest trees are only around 85 years.
The next day was Elin’s birthday so I bought her a bottle of wine for us to enjoy at Hot Water Beach. When the tide is out you can shovel little swimming holes and there is hot water under the sand, hence Hot Water Beach. We didn’t get there at the proper time, but it was still a great ending to a great trip!