Climbing Mt Karioi
Sometimes we plan things in life and sometimes we do not. The decision to climb Mount Karioi is one example of a time we planned nothing. Our quick weekend trip to Raglan was rather spontaneous. Upon arrival we had no plans of seeing or doing anything specific. We simply wanted to embrace Raglan softly and relax for two days.
Before going to sleep on the first evening, the three of us agreed that we would like to do a walk of some sort the next day. You know, stretch the legs, breathe fresh air, the usual. After googling, “walks in Raglan,” I found something online called Mt. Karioi. It was less than an hour away and we had a car. Decision made, no further research done.
Bright and early the next morning we arrived to the carpark at the entrance of the Te Toto track at the base of Mt. Karioi. Sandwiches packed, running shoes on, we commenced the estimated three hour hike to the summit. Within the first half hour, the views of the ocean were already enough to write home about. Wind combed through the tall, overgrown grass while vibrant turquoise water spread endlessly in the distance.
Once we reached the heavy roof of trees, the ground turned to mud and our muscles worked hard. Much of the trail saw us climb on rocks and trees with our hands and feet. My favorite bit included a metal chain snaking up the side of the earth in a near vertical line. Every meter or two the chain was pegged into the rocks to serve as a aid in climbing up the trees coming out of the ground.
By the time we reached the summit, our sandwiches felt well deserved. Though Karioi was not the most difficult hike I have ever done, I would definitely recommend wearing proper hiking boots rather than sneakers. Prepare to climb. The views are the top were half foggy, but no less stunning. The entire walk is about five hours return and well worth doing while in the Raglan area.