We had a reasonably early start on Tuesday, off on the Pouakai Circuit. The first part was through the wonderful beech and fern forest, plunging down twice to cross rivers on "swing" (suspension) bridges, then up onto the ridge again. The last stretch passes the tarn, where the iconic photo of Taranaki is taken, but the top was in cloud and a breeze destroyed the mirror effect. Later in the evening would have been perfect, but too knackered to walk back. Our accommodation was a standard DOC hut, basic but dry, and for such a wonderful place, surprisingly we were the only inhabitants. Three lads who were woofing, (working four hours a day in return for board and lodging) passed through with their host's son as guide.