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September 2014 Issue
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Alpine romance at snow-covered Syme Hut?

It may be cold, but Syme Hut is an improbable romantic getaway. Photo: Jakub Cejpek
Egmont National Park
Syme Hut ($5, 10 bunks)
Dawson Falls Visitor Centre is at the end of Manaia Road

Do you want to spend an unusual romantic evening with your partner? Syme Hut is one spot you don’t want to miss.

Located at the top of Fanthams Peak, 1966m, on Mt Egmont/Taranaki, the hut offers peaceful solitude, gorgeous sunsets and magnificent views. All you have to bring is a bottle of wine and the candles. Warm sleeping bags are also a must because there is no heating.

You can reach Syme Hut at any time of year, but off-season is worth considering because there will be snow around (thus nicer scenery) and fewer people. If you make it a winter or early spring destination, take ice axe and crampons to help you safely negotiate the steep upper slopes.

The route can be demanding, but it should take less than three hours to be rewarded with one of the best scenes imaginable: white clouds slowly floating in rosy sun rays with the whole world seemingly beneath your feet.

As the phrase goes, ‘If you are lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough’.

– Jakub Cejpek