Tama is a summit near Ngauruhoe which looked on the map like it would be doable. Myself and Olivia (my cousin) decided to attempt this and see if we could make it to the top. We had plans to try for Mangaweka however the access across the farmland was restricted so we decided to try this one.
The first leg of the trek takes you to Waihohonu Hutt. You need to book here if you want to stay overnight however you can get to the summit and back as a day trip. This leg is mostly flat and takes about 1 and a half hours.
From here we went up the Waihohonu – Oturere track to the top of the ridge and then departed the track walking along the ridge to Tama. The track was mostly through rock fields and was relatively flat until you got to the base of Tama where it was a steep walk up the final ascent. The terrain here could be from a Martian Rover scene were it red. The hut to the summit was about 2 and a half hours. Once you are on the ridge there is no shade. It is very exposed.
At the top the views to the neighbouring mountains and into the Upper Tama lake. You can almost reach out and touch Ngauruhoe. I deployed the aerial out accross the larger rocks and the first contact I made was a summit to summit with Warren and Ada at Rimutaka. From there the regulars called in with the ZLs on 40 and VKs on 20.
UTC day rolled over and I worked a few more VKs and ZLs and we decided to pack up and head down. The time back down back to the hut was only about 15 minutes quicker than the up time. A bite to eat then another 1.5 hours back to the car with sore feet and a little sunburn. There and back we think was just over 23 km.
From the hut there are a couple of short walks – one to the old hut which has been preserved, and another to a natural spring. Olivia went to visit the hut but we decided against visiting the spring this time around. There is also a campsite and swimming spot near the hut should you want to make a few nights of it.
This summit is worth a trip for 10 points but its a long day if you try to do it in a day.
Summit – Tama ZL1/WK-005
Height – 1623 mASL (600 m ascent)
Access – Desert Road, Waiohonu Carpark. 4 hours walk to summit.
Coverage – Spark coverage from the summit only. OK coverage into 675 repeater.
Summit Marker – None.
Land Access Permission – Conservation land – Not required.
NB: Photos are not for use elsewhere, without prior approval