Rimutaka Forest Park offers a lot of things to do – from nature walks to picnicking, you could do a whole lot of activities that could keep you resplendent for a long time! For us though, we were looking forward to camp at their scenic campground, Catchpool Valley! Just a stone’s throw away from a stream and a lot of nature trails. We were sure excited for our 2nd camping adventure!
After a good breakfast, we packed up and departed in our Mazda for the campsite, which is close to an hour’s drive! We first stopped by at the small town of Petone which was along the way. We went to Rebel Sports, a sports store to get more cricket gear and also bought some ice-cream for the hot afternoon and water from a grocery store to keep us hydrated during our stay!
We arrived in the early afternoon at the campsite and found a good empty space to set up camp! We got to work after filling in our camping details about our stay which we would hand to the DOC (Department of Conservation) Ranger later that evening!
The assembly of our tent was pretty quick since we were getting used to a method to make the tent standing the fastest. That was our 3rd time to setup our tent! In approximately half an hour, our accommodation was up and strong! However, since it was a really windy afternoon, we were afraid that our tent could plunge back to the ground any moment. Despite our fear, our strong pegging and the product’s good quality, lent our tent no trouble… although one of the poles dislodged twice from its position! Anyway, we fixed that and had some well-earned ice-cream while keeping an eye on the tent!
The stream nearby had extremely cold water, I reckon even colder than the water at Battle Hill’s stream! It might have been because of the strong cold breeze, but nevertheless, I was happy that I could get myself wet under the scorching hot sun. Unfortunately, unlike Battle Hill, there were very few deep swimming holes and most of them were upstream. There was also no high ground to jump from into the water! In the end I still had a great time exploring the cold waters and sunbathing!
As the sun slowly descended towards the horizon, I decided to abandon the stream since the water was getting cold and decided to join a group of small kids who were playing cricket and had a whale of a time for the rest of the afternoon!
For our early dinner, we had pasta as I babbled on about my new friends and the activities I did for the day! After that, I did a few more balls with my new buddies before ending our game.
As nightfall came, we enjoyed a supper of chips and I also did crossword with my parents before giving our fees to the DOC ranger as we ended an extremely enjoyable day!
The next morning, we woke up at 7.15am ready for a good and easy nature walk. Although I had a good night sleep, my dad was scared of last night’s strong winds and did not doze of well. In spite of exhaustion, he was also kind of ready to get up and about.
Although we had a cloudy breakfast, the sun soon illuminated the campsite and that gave us the all ‘clear signal’ to go trekking! Before we went off, we first unpitched our tent under perilous windy conditions and did it without any mishaps, fortunately. Once all our equipment were packed in the car, we left it at the camping grounds and went to the Park’s entrance, where there were an abundance of routes to try out.
We chose to walk through the Nga Taonga trail which was 45 minutes. In the nature walk itself, you could hear choruses of cicadas and also see many species of native trees such as the unusually tall Miro tree! There’s also a lot of ferns and fungi too!
Once we were at the other end of the trail, we were a little exhausted but still had a great time exploring nature at its finest! With that, we took the link via the stream without getting wet back to the campsite!
Before we left once and for all, I bade farewell to my friends and departed with a smile! Once again, I had an extremely magnificent camping experience!