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The Wandering of the Fellowship

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Location: Round the Mountain Track

Date: November 13-18, 2010

Author: Anna Luo

The Fellowship: Nick Vignati (Gandalf the definitely grey), Andrew Luey (Aragorn), Anna Luo (Legolas), Nico Thorburn (Mr Frodo), Tom Goodman (Sam)- trip leader, Georgia Yarrow (Merry), Krystal Hawkins (Pippin), Barry Ching (Boromir), Ines Weber (Gimli)

I shall begin. The first day started with forgettin’ me boots.

Don’t stare at me so incredulously! As I recall, a couple of

people also forgot to bring food. I’ll let ye decide what’s more

important on a six day tramp. Needless to say, much rushing

back and forth marked the start of our journey.

But yes, we did eventually reach the far-flung shores of National Park, at a bright and early time of ‘round two in the afternoon. The distant mountains were cushioned in mist, great big bucketfuls of it. Fog settled in around us too, with mystery and adventure beckoning beyond each shifting shadow. We set out; along boardwalks we went, across the desolate landscape. Sometimes we met other travelers, most ill-prepared for the challenges of the open seas.

After a soda spring break by the twin isles of Latrine, the skies opened above us and began to pour down their icy fury: little pellets of icy water whipped into face-targeting projectiles by the wind. Thus warned and welcomed, we left the barren flatlands behind and began the ascent of the Devil’s Staircase.

At the peak of this rocky uphill, a patch of snow gleamed. Snowballs were harvested fresh from these fields, to be hurled with little accuracy at the travelers still exposed on the staircase.

Further sailing in the dim and stormy light led us to the brilliant Emerald Lakes. Roughly skating down scree brought us to their very brim… however, due to the lack of cats to sizzle, we passed them by without too much ceremony. Onwards we went, all the while descending, for our climb for the day was over.

Three of the travelers scouted ahead. Reaching a wide, flat plateau filled with craggy

rocks, they turned and looked behind them. The needling rain had diminished to less

than a drizzle, but the others still appeared as mere pixels on the rock face behind them.

Shrugging and feeding on bacon Shapes™, they continued onwards to the hut.

The first evening proved fairly uneventful, save for the people of in the largest tent who

decided to take a night-time wallow in the water coming down, yet again, from the sky.

On the second day, we left port at a relaxed time of late-in-the-morning, smoothly cruising

over the first undulating wave crests. The seas would become wilder as the day continued.

But for the early hours, jabbering, sea shanties and shirtless sunbathing were the order.

We walked over most every terrain imaginable that day, an ever-changing landscape of

tussock, scoria, sand, stone, rivers, grass and bush -not to mention walking many planks. Over gaping chasms and roaring waters we leapt, hopping from rock to protruding rock.

‘Unfortunately, the outgoing tides compelled us to depart this haven soon after arrival, driving us once again out into the heaving sea. This hut was not our destination.’

Lunch took place at a bushman’s equivalent to a luxury resort: excessively ginormous and highly decked Waihohonu hut. Unfortunately, the outgoing tides compelled us to depart this haven soon after arrival, driving us once again out into the heaving sea. This hut was not our destination.

As the day grew on, we passed tempting water-courses, glittering blue and clear and cool. Hoping for excitement, we did take a detour up to a spring. Or so we thought. What false, wicked treachery.

Later that day, as night fell, two interesting features were reached. The first: an acme top-quality sheer rock face, studded with the finest volcanic boulders, custom-designed with organic sand for extra slipperiness! This hill, modelled by the very forces of nature, is a bargain you will not (want to) see again! With a radio hut and vehicle road at its summit, what are you waiting for? Buy now!

But wait! There’s more! Ring within the next 5 minutes and you will receive a lahar valley crossing, COMPLETE with complementary rope bridges and loose scoria, absolutely free! That’s right! Ring now and you will receive these 80 minutes of pure physical torture for the price of none! This is an extraordinary opportunity not to be missed! Just pick up your phone, pretend there is reception, and dial 0800 KILLMENOW, that’s 0800 KILLMENOW!

Emergency services not included. Not suitable for children under the age of 10, for people with a high risk of CVD or nervous breakdown. Excess consumption may result in pain, injury or severe decapitation. Use at buyers’ own risk.

“Wait! Wait- what’s that at the bottom of the murderous evil slope? That looks like the group! They’re stopping, and getting out cookies! I can’t believe it!” D=

Much of the rest of day two was spent in a coma. Maybe due to grogginess, the travelers hardly noticed as day three ran by, flashing its toothy grin. Before they quite knew what was happening, they had reached the roof of the next hut, and set dinner bubbling below deck. They jigged and romanced in the dying sunlight, bathed in its bloody glow. The mafia prowled the night.

Day four proved to be

One with lots of things to see

A quick Blythe Hut detour

While the others on the shore

Of the river down below

Had lunch and watched a show

Of crushing cans on rocks

Or between a butt and blocks

Waterfalls and wonders behold!

Walking up the winding road

In the hot and burning sun

But ‘twas worth it, lots of fun

Then down and down we went

Most energy was spent

But enough was left to grope

Our long way down the slope

Of a white river rushing fast

As we clambered carefully past

Then finally we saw

Our hut across the moor

A stream outside the door

Was perfectly used for


The scenery, although wonderfully rugged and dynamic, was by day five almost becoming mediocre. The walk was soothing and pleasant, but the sun had intensified and people started to tomato. Apart from a few lovely hills, the day was uneventful. Really, the highlight of the day was the games that night…

Commentator: Greetings, and welcome to the Day Five Games! Make yourselves comfortable, wait for the stragglers in your group to catch up, then commence the action! To start our contestants off is a beginners’ round oooooff… ANIMAL! Today, our players include cat, platypus, otter, springbokand even a most adorable worm!

As the game begins, it is clear Leopard is at a disadvantage as the bright light blinds her. In the other corner- hey Parrot! Break it up! Stop picking on Worm!

*intermission for chocolate pudding *

Ahem, welcome back, Ladles and Jellyspoons! Apologies for the delay. Maybe we should proceed onto the next part of our exciting tournament: with murders most extreme! Who is behind the diabolical act of shoving people down the long drop? The mafia is suspected…


Did you learn to chop wood?

Did you help to cook food?

Did you draw the AUTC fern?

Did you even get a turn?

Did you kill an orc that night?

Did you get into a fight?

Did you play 20 questions?

Did you receive violent suggestions?

Did you boil up mac’n’cheese?

Did you eat ice cream and freeze?

Did you put on any weight?

Do you think ‘twas the food you ate?

Did you overheat in the sun?

Did you smell my scent and run?

Did you pose for an epic photo?

Did you try to protect Frodo?

Did you see the cars and die?

Did you listen to Bieber and cry?

Did you suffer lots of pain?

Will you ever come back again?

‘That’s right! Ring now and you will receive these 80 minutes of pure physical torture for the price of none!


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