|Old Grizzly Beardy in the tent!|
Through civilisation, past Paihia and onto Opua to the car ferry , a beautiful day for crossing and a walk along to Orongo Bay to a great campground surrounded by kiwis. After a long walk along the road we got to the Russell Forest and a tough walk up through the magnificent forest, past all the Kauris onto the ridge. A long undulating ridge that seemd to only go up!! Finally we met an old logging track which was great to walk on and a gradual descent down to the road. Sadly the second part of the forest is closed and we hitched onto Oakura to have a night at the campground. What a beautiful spot, we will have to go back.
Liz and Terry gave us a lift back to our end spot the day before and sent us on our way with homemade fruit cake - what a treat. We walked on to Helena Bay and Steve had his first swim, or should we say dip in the ocean, too cold for me !!
Another bypass day and a walk around to Whananaki North. Well done to the Whangarei District Council for the paths and signs for the Te Araroa. The estuary path was stunning. We had a wonderful night at the campground and especially enjoyed Happy Hour with Pat and Liz and all the campervan folk.
The walk from Whananki North to Ngunguru has to be one of our favourite so far 24k but a stunning day of views, beaches, forests and streams.
We collapsed at the Salt Air cafe for a great pizza ( Steve had an all day breakfast at 6pm !!) where the guy told us he had had a few Te Araroa walkers through but we were definitely the oldest !!. We took it as a compliment !!
Sally and Maureen joined us today from Kerikeri - thanks guys, it was awesome to have company and a shuttle bunny. The Mackerel Forest track was wonderful and the river crossings not too deep. On we went to Tidesong - what a beautiful haven nestled on the estuary. Thanks to Ros and Hugh for sharing their family birthday with us and firing up the pizza oven.
We were rowed across the estuary by Hugh - a great new boardwalk has been constructed to help with this and onto Taihararua.