I woke up in the same position as I’d flopped into bed. This day turned out to be one of the best days hiking since I was with Gordon for the four days we shared on Ninety Mile Beach. I could only imagine what he’d be doing with the 4WD in this seemingly untouched stretch of coastal bliss – although he does have a healthy respect for nature. Still the thought of a grumbling four-wheel drive hovering around me, with half drained coconut husks rolling around inside, was amusing while I quietly pressed on.
I crossed the estuary and enjoyed being on the narrow bridge. After another badly marked turn-off which lead me up a steep muddy paddock into a dead-end, I decided to just walk where I thought the trail might be and eventually I stumbled across it. I ignored my annoyance and just enjoyed being on track again and being in such beautiful surroundings. Scenic meadows, beaches and bays were the order of the day.
Another person offered me a lift but this was certainly the day for hiking such a coastline. I really was enjoying the scenery. I met Steph and Pauline who were out for a stroll and were from Whangarei. Then I met Cath and Bert who were having an ice-cream. They looked at my ski/hiking poles and commented that there was no snow about. We chatted for a while and they pointed me in the right direction. Later on in the afternoon they caught up to me whilst they were cycling back home.
Cath said that the trail would have gone through her property but the neighbours disapproved of such a trail so the trail took an earlier turn for the Matapouri Forest and therefore missed the scenic wonders of her property. I enjoyed having Cath and Bert cycle alongside me for a couple of kilometres. After we said goodbye, I couldn’t help but notice my average speed had increased by a third. Motivation has a kind way of showing up in various forms when you need it most.
The Matapouri Forest Track was very scenic in parts. The huge Kauri tree named “Tane Moana” was standing alone in this forest and I enjoyed the brief side trip to see him. “He” is estimated to be over 500 years old, is over 11 metres in circumference and stands head and shoulders above the other trees on the oblique ridge.
Later on, high up on the felled forest hilltop, I had a good view of the next three days hike to Whangarei Heads and Bream Head could be seen too. I strolled into Ngunguru and got chatting to a couple along the way who invited me in for tea. I said I was expecting a call (from Australia) from my brother Gordon at the B&B where I was staying but it would have been nice otherwise. I arrived at the B&B fairly late and enjoyed catching up with Gordon on the phone.