|Posted on 9 January, 2019 at 20:45|
Mount Ruapehu is just a few hours drive away. You take the Napier-Taihape road. That gets you to Waiouru. Waiouru sits under the mountain.
After we cross through the range of hills joining the Kawekas to the Ruahines, we come to a high level plateau of good country. This view looks along to the Ruahines. We are just less than 1000m above sea-level here.
Just above the trees we get a view of the eastern side of Ruapehus from more than forty kilometres away.
This view shows Ruapehu not far from Ohakune, the carrot growing capital of New Zealand. Highfields with volcanic soil means low summer temperatures with lots of sunlight. Perfect for carrots.
This is how Ruapehu appears from the west.
The Mountain is volcanic. Where there has been a large amount of volcanic rock fallen from the air, the rivers cut into this deeply. The rail-line has to bridge over these deep gorges. This bridges dates from the first decade of the twentieth century.
Steel was the often chosen building material of that time. This viaduct is one of New Zealands best examples of a steel reilway viaduct. It is one of the biggest.
Right down the bottom is the streambed, of large and small volcanic rocks.
This is bridge number one hundred and seventy nine, presumably counting from Auckland. It is called the Makatote viaduct as it crosses the Makatote stream. Pronounce the Maori as if it were Japanese. "Ma-ka-to-te".
The bush around here has some big trees. They are not as big as the ones near Ball's Clearing..... but they are not small.
I just had to fotograf this big Kenworth toiling up the hill.
And whatever that Kenworth was carrying could have been sent by train!
While Ruapehu is hidden from sight by foothills, Ngarahoe [Nga-ra-ho-e] at 2200m [against Ruapehu's 2740M] comes into view.
We are at the "Top of the Bruce". From here alpine lifts takes skiers up into the mountains in winter. In summer the area seems so barren.
There is still some snow left, and a good smattering of winter accomodation, also used quite a bit in summer.
On winter's weekend, the place is full of people learning to ski.
In winter it is advertised as "Happy Valley". Can't call it that now!
A lot of money has been spent here to keep Aucklanders returning and spending.
What a spendid view of the valley below.
The strangest thing for me was....... there were no lunch places open as far as I could find. I had to return to "National Park Village" to eat.
Cheers Chris the Pipemaker.
Categories: trips through the North Island