Climbing Paritutu Rock in New Plymouth – Day 47
Paritutu Rock and Back Beach in New Plymouth
It’s Day 47 on New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year where we are challenging ourselves to 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Today’s activity is climbing Paritutu Rock in New Plymouth, Taranaki!
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So today we are going to Paritutu Rock which is along some really nice beaches in New Plymouth.
I am pretty pumped about going to Paritutu Rock because we had a great view of it from the kayak when we went with Peter and Canoe & Kayak to kayak around Sugar Loaf Islands. Now the Sugar Loaf Islands are basically the extension of Paritutu Rock. it has been smashed onto the sea by the volcanic eruptions and they’re probably on the same fault line from the volcano so basically it’s the big boulder of Sugar Loaf Islands. This is like a huge rock you can see from even within the city centre of New Plymouth and you know like anywhere in New Zealand if you see a place that’s higher than the rest you have to climb it so that is our mission today.
Such steep stairs.
The climb is starting a bit steep it’s some pretty heavy steps and Laura is already having trouble. Once the steps bit is over there’s actually a really cool way to get up the rest of the rock which involves just a chain which you hold onto and hold on for dear life because you’re rock climbing the rest of your way up. If you fall it will be a long way down and it’ll hurt. It is high above us at this point and completely steep. it’s almost vertical. I don’t see how we’re going to climb this thing but I mean there’s lots of families around it’s a Sunday there’s people taking their kids up there. Surely, it can’t be that dangerous.
Alright, so we arrive up top and the view from the top of Paritutu Rock are amazing. So first you get to see the whole of New plymouth city, which is quite great. it’s not a big city so you actually can see everything. We’ve got the one the only Mt Taranaki. it’s a clear day we can see the snow on Mt Taranaki. It looks absolutely awesome. just instagramming that shit like come on where’s my likes? And then so the side of us we have Back Beach which is a long black sand beach and we can see the little dots of people surfing dedicated surfers during this winter season but it’s actually not such a cold day. We are starting to get down now going down this cliff that we just climbed was way harder than going up. So it takes us about twice longer to get down.
Still holding onto the chains as we make our way down and I feel like I’m pretty much a mountain goat at this point the way I’m like only have one ledge for my foot and I’m like [goat noises] I hope I don’t fall to my death. Someone help me. I have been going down the whole way with Laura making goat noises. Mountain goat.
Anyway, we get to the bottom and we get into our campervan safe and sound. And we are moving our campervan literally a hundred metres down the road to the car park to Back Beach. Because we saw that beach from the top of the rock and we were like: “We gotta go to that beach. That looks lie a good place for some lunch.”
Robin what you making? I’m making the sandwich. What sort of sandwich. The one you can eat on the beach. Oh, sand-wich… This is a nice campervan view.
We get the sandwiches and we try to find our way down to the beach but the first place we go to we can’t get down there because there’s like a sheer cliff drop. But we just stumble upon a really nice spot where we actually prefer to sit for lunch which is just some mowed grass on the edge of a cliff.
And there is basically a massive slide of black sand going down the side of the cliff. There is a lot of cardboard on the side and you can see a couple of kids with body boards so you know they’re just sliding their way down there and sweating their way up but we are going to do differently because we don’t have cardboard so are going to run the way down and sweat the way up.
We get to the bottom, we have a look around the rock pools there’s loads of little pebbles on this side of the beach and the sun’s just slowly going closer and closer to the islands so they make a nice silhouette and then we are making our way down the beach for a quick stroll. There’s driftwood everywhere there’s those awesome waves that we found so mesmerising coming in and we’re just looking at those waves and then we turn around and go back up the same way.
Are you ready for this steep climb? Well, it doesn’t matter, we have to be ready. It’s the only way back up. On the way back up the sand dune I find an awesome little cave. I did not into this cave because I was tired from climbing the sand dune. That is not what happened. No, I see the cave and I’m like: “That looks like a cool little spot to sit in.” Want to come join me in my cave? Thanks.
I am glad to be back at the Duck & Drakes Backpackers but you know why like the Ducks & Drakes Backpackers? Because they have a pile of board games! And I like board games. So today I’m digging out Mastermind, which I have played quite a lot as a kid and I am eager to play it with Laura.
Yes? I’ve sold this room. That’s unfortunate. Now can I go? Ok…