Alternative title: Laughing at the sunrise like he's been up all night.
Technically, tramping requires an overnight stay, but as we were walking to a hut where most people were staying overnight, this certainly felt like a tramp.
Sunrise Track seemed like a good place to start exploring the Ruahines, as the government website recommends the walk for those of low to moderate fitness. Once again, I am reminded that "low fitness" is much fitter in NZ than in the US.
The entrance to the Ruahines is through private farm land...which is what most of New Zealand looks like today. Beautiful, but only if you try not to think about all the native forest that was slashed and burned to make room for the sheep.
Just a few steps past the gate, and things get even greener.
One of my better pictures on the day:
This is Sunrise Hut. These huts are all over New Zealand, and basically allow you to tramp around the country without carrying a tent. Sunrise Hut is on the posh side (and costs $14 NZ a night). You get a bunk/mattress (in a room with a bunch of other bunks), a heater, a kitchen...probably a pit toilet somewhere.
We couldn't figure out why there was ice on the ground, as we were burning up from our 2 hour (and 1300 metre) climb.
I could post pictures from the top all day long; here are a couple of especially good ones: