Mt Karioi is an extinct 756m volcano on the coast of Raglan.
It is noteworthy for the spectacular views of the Raglan, Aotea, and Kawhia harbours, as well as the greater central North Island. And, it offers non-surfies an alternative to the seemingly only other local activity – drinking at the Raglan Hotel.
Mt Karioi can be climbed from two sides, a longer five hour return trek, or a shorter, but steeper 3 – 4 hour scramble. The longer track is the more scenic and exciting, as it doesn’t pass through farmland first. It also is only a quick 15 minute drive from Raglan township, while the shorter track, requires a lengthy driving along a rough gravel road to the other side of the mountain.
Some highlights from the track include an exciting mountaineer up a steep slope with the help of a securely mounted chain, an initial walk through sweeping summer grassy plains, and of course no shortage of breathtaking scenery, with most of the North Island’s mountains easily visible, including Te Aroha, Taranaki, Ngauruohoe, Ruapehu, and Pirongia, just to list a few.
On a level of difficulty it is a surprisingly tough climb, and I would rate it similarly to the larger Mt Te Aroha.
Once returned to the car park, the exhausted trekker can either continue down to the beach, or find ice-cream refreshments at the local Raglan dairy, followed by a cool pint, and a very reasonably priced hearty meal at the Harbour Bar.
Or, there’s surfing.
View all photos here.