Syme Hut, Taranaki Maunga. By Rachael Hockridge
Summiting Taranaki Maunga is on many people’s bucket list. But I’d rather be staring at the mountain than being on top of it. And, the best way to appreciate Taranaki is an overnight trip to Syme Hut.
Starting at Dawson Falls Visitor Centre, pretty much immediately, is a staircase heading to Fanthams Peak. After 2.7km, and 500m of ascent, Kapuni Lodge offers a respite before another 500m scree climb, up the Southern Summit Route.
In winter, crampons are needed at the plateau at the top – when we were there it was an ice skating rink for the 300m to the hut.
Syme Hut is in a most stunning location. We spent sunrise and sunset exploring, listening to the ice crack beneath our feet, and watching the sun go down, and then up.
Wouldn’t you rather be here than attempting to summit?