Part 6 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.
November 2011, my ‘Walk Two’ of Te Araroa – the long pathway – from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south.
My ‘Walk One’ in 2010 was from Cape Reinga to the Herekino Saddle just south of Ahipara. See “Te Araroa Trail Blog” parts 1-5 for details.
Walk One, mostly along the 90 Mile Beach, would contrast with the bush and road walk to Kerikeri.
I had company this time, mostly because there is a chance to get lost in the forest sections. So it was with Vic, a good mate and an experienced tramper, that the 5-day journey started.
Brenda took us to the starting point at the edge of the forest after lunch on Monday 21 November 2011. The staging to Kerikeri worked best with a half-day start and a camp in the Herikino forest. We had with us a GPS, all the maps, a tent, some food and water.
Te Araroa – The Long Pathway – Part 6
Day 1, Walk Two (a half day)
There is plenty of advice and notes concerning each section of the Te Araroa Trail. The advice for our start into this forest was for an initial climb of about an hour.
Advice from a local tramper warned us that the one-hour climb was followed by many ups and downs to follow. How true.
There are old forestry tracks that date back to the cut-over logging of the past. We found the first of these after 1½ hours and were able to confirm our position with the GPS.
Our local advice was very clear: turn left, not right as your instincts would have you do.
The next section had some streams to cross, firstly a stream with enough water for a swim, the next with enough water for a bath, and the next enough water for a drink.
By 5:00 pm we had come to the cross roads, to Diggers Valley, to Herekino (back to) and Pukepotu. Just half an hour down the track towards Diggers Valley we set up camp (E1622730 N6105984).
Our three-man tent (carried by Vic) took up all the track width. We had already gone beyond where a quad bike could run us down, and late enough in the day to be sure we would not be blocking the way of other trampers. The site was on high ground just past a good stream.
The 5½ hour half-day showed as 15,700 steps on the pedometer, a distance of about 10km.
It rained overnight and the forest cover and wind gusts kept the raindrops falling randomly for hours after. We had not hung the tent from the underside of the fly and paid the price, raindrops falling on my head.