Day 64 on the Road
Gumboot Throwing and Climbing Mt Stewart
Today on New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year where we are doing 365 Day: 365 Activities, we are exploring Taihape with its gumboot throwing and Mt Stewart Reserve Track.
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Today is our last day in Taihape which is the gumboot capital of New Zealand. So to celebrate our one unique day spent in this very small town we are going to go crazy on gumboots.
Today just after breakfast, you know, we usually you know, brush our teeth standard… Wait, I’m going somewhere with this, there’s two bathrooms in the Rusty Nail Backpackers. There’s a really nice bathroom and there’s rusty nail bathroom and we sort of have a bit of a race to get the best bathroom and I get the nicest bathroom because I’m the fastest, the quickest and the smartest. I outwitted, outplayed and outlasted him and because Robin’s a bit of a sore loser…
You’re such a dick.
This one. Cool. Go for it. 3, 2, 1. Go. Yes I win. I threw the furthest. Yesterday we met a lovely guy called Garret. He’s actually staying in the same room than we are. he was like hey guys what are you doing tomorrow? Can I spend the day with you as well? Every year, here in Taihape they are throwing a competition of gumboot throwing and you know there is some money to be won and there is a world record of gumboot throwing so we stage our little gumboot competition of gumboot throwing, we get into position, we are setting the rules first cos Garret’s never heard of that sport before. i mean, how? What?
We are about to do an insane competition right here. The rules are simple: we count down to three, we all throw our gumboots, whoever throws their gumboot the furthest wins. I have a child’s gumboot for some reason and the other guys have various other gumboots of all shapes and sizes and to no one’s surprise I lose, Robin comes second and Gregg is the gumboot champion. I feel honoured to be in his presence: the gumboot champion of the NZPocketGuide.com Gumboot Throwing Campionship. Who knew that throwing a dirty old shoe in the air and then running after it in the mud to go pick it up was that much fun? I mean, it’s just so cool. Literally, we spent what? An hour and a half there. We’re just laughing the whole time. It is time for us to get onto our second gumboot activity of the day which is heading to the Taihape Gumboot which marks the entrance of the town. It’s a gigantic scrap metal gumboot painted in colourful colours. We are doing the Mt Stewart Reserve Hike. Just behind this big gumboot there is a hike going up Mt Stewart and overlooking the whole city of Taihape town of Taihape it’s not a city it’s a town.
We’re making our way up Mt Stewart, there’s a bit of mud. We kind of wish we had our gumboots on right now. Find us a way. I think we go this way. Are you sure? I know it’s a loop anyway so anyway we’re coming down. There’s many different trees on the way to Mt Stewart and again like the Mangawhero Forest Walk there are signs to say what type of trees we are passing which is kind of cool. So hiking through the forest we see a lot of you know native trees as usual Laura is actually in the lead for today and she’s pretty keen today she’s like oh my gosh I’m going to nail that hike so she’s forcing on us quite a fast pace which is quite cool. I like a bit of a challenge. And we’re getting up that mountain in less than 10 minutes so good job us. What you say? This is a Maire tree. How do you know that Laura? I’m just knowledgeable. I just know all about New Zealand. I knew it, I knew it a mile off, I knew this was a totara. 10 Minutes later, we are at the top of Mt Stewart there’s just an extra little viewing platform. I don’t really know why, I mean we are already pretty high up the mountain I guess that little boost really helps with the view and here it is. The view. We have Taihape, the town of Taihape surrounding the whole mountain right here, beyond that, there’s rolling green hills, those classic North Island dramatic green rolling hills… looks amazing. And through the town is the main state highway of the North Island that goes from Wellington to Auckland that is State Highway 1. So we were having a great morning with Garret from Hungary but he got a little bit sick of us taking about a million pictures and video so he says hey guys, that was really nice meeting you but your fucking annoying. But I’m going to leave you behind and I’m going to keep on walking so we are about 10 minutes behind him and I think we’re never going to see him again. It’s like you’re drunk. So fortunately I am super smooth on my feet. How are those new hiking boots working for you? We are now back at the campervan and we are going to take the road to Palmerston North this is where we are staying tonight. Again, loads of rolling hills a lot of rain which is always cool you know it makes every thing more dramatic clouds beautiful landscape awesome roads, I mean, Manawatu is just a green country with stunning hills and everything just looks epic and mysterious so the drive is pretty epic. We have a fun filled day planned in Taihape the Gumboot Capital of New Zealand did I mention it’s the gumboot capital of New Zealand? I don’t think I said it enough. News just in, it is actually the gumboot capital of the world.