Sunday 30th October:
After a few days recovery in Kerikeri, I moved on to Paihia. Back on the track, I felt pleased to be making progress, hiking through dense forests, but at the same time I knew I had some serious ground to gain. For myself, one days rest means an extra 5km’s on top of each days hike – for the next five days, before I’m back on schedule.
Monday 31st October:
A long days walk before I finally reached Russell Forest walkway. Lets just say, you know you’re tired when you wake up the following morning with your camera pack still on. Who needs sleeping tablets?
Update (Friday 25th October 2011):
I hiked into Kerikeri (upper north-east of north island) yesterday morning around 10:00am. I’ve never had to deal with blisters to this degree on any of my previous hikes.
Just busy finding myself around this small friendly town in search of some light treatment before moving on.
Update (Friday 21st October 2011):
I feel like cancelling today. The hike out of Takahue was pleasant enough as the gravel road gradually took me higher and closer to the Raetea Forest. Suddenly the forest began and so too did the deep mud on the steep track. From the trail notes I knew that the orange markers on this section of trail are not to be relied upon. GPS is recommended so I had it on. Little did I know how tough and unpleasant this trail would be. Orange markers were placed where the trail was obvious and then the trail just vanished into thick tangled vines countless times with not a marker in sight.
I was expecting the Raetea Forest Track to be tricky but not to the extent that it was. I didn’t enjoy it except for the view at the Raetea Summit. Heavy rain from the previous days left a lot of mud to contend with as well as the poorly placed markers which this trail is renowned for.
It’s been far from an enjoyable day and don’t recommend this trail to anyone until it’s marked correctly!! With light fading, several kilometers to go and nowhere at all to pitch a tent I felt the pressure. As bright as my headlamp is – I would not like to find my way through this forest after dark.
Update (Thursday 20th October 2011):
Those Kauri trees in the Herekino forest are so majestic. I felt like an ant next to them. How could anyone cut them down. Glad these ones are here to stay! I hiked into Takahue feeling quite dehydrated. I misplaced my Steripen water purifier. It found its way between my pack and pack liner so I used tablets which take 4 hours to work their magic . So after much walking I only drank at 8:30pm.
Update (Wednesday 19th October 2011):
I’ll be leaving Ahipara early tomorrow morning and heading for the Herekino Forest. My time here at Ahipara Holiday Park & YHA has been very enjoyable. I’ve met some really nice people who have made my stay here all the more enjoyable. It has rained over the region here for the past five days so I’m hoping the mud on track won’t be too deep. Thanks to the weather, I’m now behind schedule by three days but I quite like the challenge of having to play catch up.
Update (Tuesday 18th October 2011):
Too much rain! Looks like the weather is only going to clear in a few days time so I have decided to stay in Ahipara at the Holiday Park and YHA for two nights. I’ll start hiking the Herekino Forest on Thursday morning. Very excited to see the giant Kauri trees in the forest!
Update (Monday 17th October 2011):
Gordon and I are currently in Ahipara (Far North) having a rest day while packing last-minute things. We’re planning to wake up early tomorrow morning and head for the start of the Herekino Forest which is where I ended up my hike yesterday. Gordon will then be heading for Sydney. It was great hiking with you up to the south end of Ninety Mile Beach Gordo. Thanks for all your support.
Update (Friday 7th October 2011):
We’ve just reached Auckland and have completed all food drops south of this point. We’re enjoying the view from the top of One Tree Hill as we get ready to transfer over to a 4WD. The Land Rover will not only be quicker on the open road but much easier to navigate along creeks towards beaches.
Update (Tuesday 4th October 2011):
We are now in the town of Wanganui (a quarter of the way up the north island) after dropping off a total of sixteen of the thirty-three food drop boxes. After setting out one day behind we are now back on schedule. Thanks to all those who have helped us out along the way.
Our next stop tonight is Waitomo Caves (about a third of the way up the north island).
Update (Thursday 29th September 2011):
We are now in Lake Tekapo after dropping the first four food drops out of thirty-three. Twenty nine to go. We are one day behind with a ferry to catch so we are racing for the Cook Strait.
Update (Wednesday 28th September 2011):
We are about to drive our way up to Cape Reinga from Queenstown. Nothing like a long road trip north before a long hike all the way south again. I originally had in mind hiking the whole trail with someone but those interested couldn’t get the time off and those who had the time were not interested. A compromise often presents itself – a few close friends will be joining me for short sections of the trail and hopefully I’ll bump into some of the other 2011/2012 Te Araroa hikers along the way too.
Update (Monday 19th September 2011):
Tomorrow Gordon and I fly over to Auckland New Zealand for the start of a great adventure. New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail traverses the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south. Before the hiking begins, my brother and I have a great road trip ahead of us starting in Queenstown and finishing up at Cape Reinga. I’ve been planning this trip for over a year now. One more sleep to go! Will I get any sleep?