Rangiwahia Hut Trail, Ruahine Forest Park, Manawatu Wanganui

Clear sky overnight while on Manawatu Scenic Route

Clear sky overnight while on Manawatu Scenic Route

On the way to Lake Taupo, while driving on State Highway 1, you can spot a sign on the road indicating Manawatu Scenic Route. Well, that is tempting enough! You soon find yourself slaloming through landscapes of luxuriant bush and landslides...the usual sheeps and cows...

After selecting a place to camp and use an existing fire pit to grill the sausages of the day, the clear night sky enabled incredible night shots featuring the Milky Way... There was no direct light coming from an electrical source, no lights from any houses around, no street lights,... The beauty of the stars and the length of the Milky Way... What an amazing vue...

What was probably a possum, gave me a few scares in the dark. It really sounds like someone is slowly walking nearby in the bush, without ever getting too close... The moonless dark night makes everything louder and bigger...!

In the morning, the sun soon heated the van and taking breakfast started to be really warm on the skin. Makes me wonder what it will be like in the summer months!

When you keep following the scenic route, you get to Main South Road Junction. From there you can follow the gravel road to Ruahine Forest Park. The Rangiwahia Hut trail is a very nice walk with amazing view over Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and the Tongariro. You keep playing hide and seek with beautiful views. You also cross a lovely bridge, high above the stream.

Mount Ruapehu covered in snow, Mount Ngauruhoe on the right and part of Tongariro

Bridge on Rangiwahia Hut trail

Small waterfall on Rangiwahia Hut trail