Auckland, United Kingdom
October 4, 2002
Its easiest if you start off at the end near Avarua. The start is signposted and we asked the bus driver to drop us off. The path started off fairly steep and just kept on getting steeper as we climbed up the mountain using tree roots as steps. Everytime we thought we must have levelled out it just got worse.
Our aching legs were justifed by the view up the top. You can see all the way out to the ocean, even over the coral reef. For the really daring theres a rope to climb up the Needle rock, watch out for the wind though.
Once you reach the peak you have a choice between a shorter steeper distance back or longer easier route. Obviously we took the hardest option - based on the fact that someone had worn the sign away so you don't actually know which route is which, so we left it to a chicken to show us the way. The chicken hated us because the way down was even worse than before, being as it's much easier to fall down if you're headed in that direction anyway. And I did. I soon developed the bum technique which involved giving up my dignity and slithering down steep slopes on my bum. It took two washes to clean the mud from my shorts but I survived the climb, so bonus.
Eventually we descended down to the river and kept criss crossing back and forth. The track did disappear a few times at this point so we had to just follow the river along and sometimes wade through it. Watch out for the mosquitos!
Finally we came out by the waterfall on the other side of the island. Sadly the waterfall was dry - it not having rained recently, so wasn't much of a view. But the climb itself was well worth it. The views at the top and traipsing through the rainforests and river was quite incredible although flipping tiring. And best of all there was a garage selling ice creams and cold drinks at the end of the road. Aaaaah!
From journal Rarotonga - sun, sand and fun on a pacific island