Part 3 of Bob Kennedy’s Te Araroa Trail blog. Bob started his Te Araroa Trail walk at Cape Reinga in November 2010, a year before it was officially opened.
Te Araroa – The Long Pathway – Part 3
I got to the Te Paki stream before 8:oo AM and was able to enjoy a stripped-off shower, 3 cups to drink and a bottle refill from crisp clean water coming from an area of reeds on the southern bank.
DOC has erected a large sign on the opposite side proclaiming soft sand and advising an increase in speed. I thought that my going was up to scratch for someone of my age and pack weight.
I was off clean and in good spirits. It was 9:15 before I saw other people and then it was a trailer load – namely the Pukenui School seniors, in their last days at school before High School.
Good to see the locals have not been inflicted with overzealous notions of Health & Safety. I could imagine their H&S manual with just four words, “look after one another”.
They were on their way north to start at the top of Ninety Mile Beach for the 4-day walk to Ahipara.
They were accompanied by some parents walking, one on horseback and one cruising the fishing spots along the way, carrying the heavy bits like water and lunch, and being on hand to ferry them back to Hukatere for overnight camps. It was good to see them out and about.
To look behind occasionally seemed a good idea. I did spot a dot way behind and thought it was another walker, until a savage barking at my heels announced the arrival of one older gentleman on his bike preceded by one very loud and savage, if not tiny, foxy dog.
The tourists flew past at high speed, 5 busloads between 10:30 and 11:30. I am hoping they will be back tomorrow, at a similar time.
There had been time for food stops, there was plenty of creek water, just two of the crossings required boots-off. I don’t like walking in wet feet.
Nine 4-wheel drive vehicles of various sorts, and a female cyclist towing a single wheel trailer, made up the highlights for the day.
The Bluff is a significant feature on the beach, a rocky outcrop with a large sign to say the “island” (when the tide is in) is private property.
However the camping area on the landward side is more welcoming. It has a flush toilet of sorts, a large area to camp, and down by the stream, a bathtub full of cool clear water. Again I camped on my own.
I was woken by a 4×4 getting access to the beach in the middle of the night to collect muscle spat when the tide was low. There is an invitation to pay a $10 camp fee to the Maunganui Bluff Reserve Trustees, but it seems to have been mainly unsuccessful since the Project Crimson Pohutakawa tree planting was done.
The area has been well set up but sadly shows a distinct lack of maintenance.