Mostly the track is easy for walking, albeit uphill all the way to the hut though! Being a volcanic area, there are a lot of rocks around, and as you see here, someplaces where the steps are carved. they are a nice size and not too large to trudge up with a pack on back. Originally they were carved for pack ponies from the gold mining days, but these days are kept maintained for keen hikers. (such as me hahahahaha)
New Zealand was covered in forest before mankind arrived, and we had some amazingly large hardwood trees. When the pioneers came they felled most of these for use in building sailing ships as they were hard and tall and straight. Perfect for their needs. Now the few remaining specimens of these trees, have been sought to build furniture. Restrictions have been now placed to stop this. Here you see we came across a fallen log, of one of these large trees. This one is large enough to sit inside the cavity of the log.
Not all the steps are uniform and similar to a staircase. Here you see just some minor chiselling just to make foot placements to assist hikers. I guess this was formed for the ponies too, thanks very much. There is a lot of clays up in these hills, so can be very slippery when wet. And this is a high rainfall area, so being wet is a very real probability!!
They say it's taken 20 million years for the landscape to end up looking like this. I can never understand how 'they' work that out, however I'm happy to believe it.
Imagine a string of volcanoes erupting from time to time. 8 million years ago "they say"..... And as they form conical shapes of ash, some of the lava remains like a plug in the cavity of the eruption. After many years the ash mountain is eroded away, and the hard solidified lava plug is left standing tall and proud. This one called Tauranikau is a perfect example, as are the actual "Pinnacles" which we were to climb the next day.