Te Aroha Summit Track
I first climbed Te Aroha in 2017 and swore I would never ever do it again. At 952m above sea level I remember it being a tough climb!
Yet here I am climbing it a second time 3 years later.
Round 2 of Mount Te Aroha did not feel so hard but don’t go thinking it is easy. This is definitely a challenging climb!
How to get to Mount Te Aroha:
Head to the Te Aroha Mineral Spas via Boundary Street. The starting point is in-between the Gazebo and the entry to the Mineral Spas. Head up the hill and there is a sign on the left designating the tracks. The orange markers take you to the Summit.
Te Aroha Summit Track:
Note – The track says 45 minutes to the lookout and 3 hours to the summit. It took me 20 minutes to the lookout and from there 1 hour 10 to the summit (overall 1.5 hours to the summit). So please bare this in mind with my timing in the blog. 🙂
The first 20 minutes to the Whakapipi Lookout is pretty straight forward. A gradual incline with a few stairs and a bridge. This part of the climb is quite well maintained and heavily used with many people going to the lookout and back as a quick morning stroll.
The Whakapipi Lookout provides views over the Hauraki Plains so is a perfect spot for photos, a drink and short rest.
20 minutes from the lookout the track heads more towards a steep incline and I would say it is definitely more of a trail then a track. The terrain is rugged with lots of big tree roots, rocks/boulders and stairs.
It is challenging and will get the heart rate spiking.
The trail is enclosed with a canopy of trees and is quite dark. You will be able to tell you are nearly at the summit as the trail lightens with the sunlight bursting through the tree tops.
At 952m above sea level, on a clear day you will get 360 degree views across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty including Mt Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Taranaki.
The Summit is a lot cooler and windy, so pack your day pack accordingly. It is also a great spot for lunch and to hydrate.
You head back down Mount Te Aroha via the same track. It took me 50 minutes to get down. The first 30 minutes is quite difficult navigating the rough terrain. It is steep and more care is required.
Obviously once you hit the Whakapipi Lookout you know you are nearly done and you can easily run this part.
Once down you could enjoy a soak in the Te Aroha Mineral Spas to ease your legs if you are that way inclined.
In comparison to The Pinnacles Walk, I would say Te Aroha is a rougher terrain but slightly easier on the legs than The Pinnacles. Te Aroha is definitely harder on the decline.
If you enjoying climbing mountains, this needs to be on your list. Schedule it in for a clear day and enjoy the challenge.
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