- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 18 August 2015, 1:29PM
Freda Barrett made her second trip up Mauao yesterday - after a 66-year interval.
For her 90th birthday, which she will celebrate on Friday, her granddaughter Michelle Barrett organised a trip for her to the top of the mountain to recreate a photo taken of her in the 1940s.
But this time she took the easy way to the summit, being driven up via the 4WD track.
The original photo, snapped on a Box Brownie camera when she was 24, shows a different scene from the present panorama, with baches scattered throughout the Mount.
Freda's first trip up in the 1940s.
Mrs Barrett recognised where the bach was which she stayed in all those years ago.
She also found the spot where she would have popped out of the gorse after climbing the mountain on her hands and knees.
"It's unbelievable. It's unbelievable, the change. From just a mass of little baches to all the high rises, the port and all the activity.
"I just love it. Not only was it a beautiful day but I thank the Lord I was able to get up here."
Mrs Barrett said the real highlight of the excursion was being able to spot the pod of orcas which had made its way into the Tauranga Harbour for the morning.
On her first trip to the Bay, the then 24-year-old nurse had ventured down from Auckland with three girlfriends and hired a bach.
"We looked up at the Mount but we couldn't see any track so we just went up ... Straight up the side, on our hands and knees.
"It wasn't until we almost got to the top we saw the track. There were all sorts of gorse prickles and blackberries, it was so rough."
Mrs Barrett was to find a permanent home in Tauranga after going back to Auckland.
Source: Bay of Plenty Times