Braving multiple seasons in one day including a snow capped mountain, New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young hosted Finance Minister Hon Steven Joyce to complete the Pouakai Crossing.
This 19km crossing located on Mt Taranaki, traverses around the north side of the mountain, down into the Ahukawakawa Wetlands and up and over the Pouakai Ranges to end at Mangorei Road.
Joined by 12 other keen trampers including New Plymouth District Council Mayor Neil Holdom, the group set out with Top Guides Shuttle who have been increasingly busy over the last few weeks with visitors keen to experience the crossing.
Senior DOC Ranger Dave Rogers kept the group regaled with stories of volcanic lava flow, the Kokowai stream running red, the old summit tracks and Iwi history.
“The stories all intertwine as you make your way through changing landscapes around the incredible Mt Taranaki and Pouakai Ranges” says Young. “It’s not just the natural beauty, it’s the history and the stories that make this place so special.”
"Increasing the tourism potential for Taranaki has been one of my key drivers in the last few years” says Young.
"It’s important we keep developing world class opportunities for the visitors coming to New Zealand, and the Pouakai Crossing can be one of those. Apart from the great experience people have in walking the Pouakai Crossing, it will also help alleviate the pressure other prominent one day walks are experiencing, such as the Tongariro Crossing, which currently sees over 100,000 visitors a year.
I was very pleased Steven Joyce was able to experience this and see the beauty and potential of our National Park.