Jess is a Wanderer found out about a most exciting rock called Maungaraho. Located slightly south east of Dargaville, it’s an adventure not for the faint-hearted. Surrounded by fairly flat farmland, the rock sticks out begging to be climbed. So that’s what I did.
Arriving in the carpark aka the dead end at the end of a gravel road, the sign greets you and the rock towers above. It’s certainly much larger than it seemed during the drive.
The sign is posted to your left as you pass through the gate. You have the option of ‘summit track’ or ‘base track’ but both begin the same way. Before you know it, you’re weaving through bushland and beginning the ascent whether you intended to summit or not!
Behold, the first set of chains. It had been raining in the run up to completing this hike so the first set of rocks were particularly slippery with some water still dribbling down them. Nothing like a challenge to get me started. Please note, none of these pictures are showing just how daunting any of this really was. Especially coming back down!!
After throwing all my inhibitions aside, I managed to navigate my way to the next set of chains. It was very much a case of holding on and hoping for the best as I’m not qualified in any way when it comes to advanced hiking tracks, let alone rock climbing.
I was the only person on the entire rock throughout my entire climb. I tried not to think about that as I slid down a muddy bank for about 20 metres during my descent. And dropped my phone – fortunately it survived the fall despite bouncing off every possible rock.
Absolutely my favourite ever climb so far in New Zealand. Only around 2km in total and (without stopping for photos at the top) will take you just over an hour to complete – conditions depending. I just wish it had been a longer activity!