Austral Islands/Rurutu: Hiking the Lost Track

Rurutu is dotted with over 30 caves and grottos, and the absolute must-do is hiking the Lost Track. It’s not really a track, but more of a spelunking and rock climbing and edge of the cliffs walking insanity that probably goes down as one of the most crazy hikes I’ve ever done in my life. You start along the beach at the north of the island and then quickly run out of sand as you come to near vertical limestone cliffs. From here, you climb up and through various grottos, sometimes walking on knife’s edge paths and sometimes squeezing though extremely claustrophobic holes. Tropic vegetation and massive pandanus trees with their penis-like air root are everywhere around you, while giant fregate birds are flying above. Eventually you make it to the first cave en your journey, filled with stalactites and stalagmites. And from here on, it gets even harder as you continue to the ultimate destination of the Lost Track – Toarutu Cave aka “The Mouth of the Dragon” (next post).