As noted in yesterday's post, last night we bumped into our Australian ladies again. We had a chat with them about the next day and Kay organised to book Tui Cabin, just out of Matapouri Bay for all five of us. This meant we had a pretty relaxing day planned for today. We ended up doing only 15km, leaving camp finally at around 1040 and arriving at Tui Cabin about 1700. Today's gps track is here.
We ended up having a long chat before we left with the farmer who owned about 1100 acres in the area, including owning the campsite. It was also his wetland that we walked through the last couple of kms last night. He gave us some fascinating insights into the changes in the local district over time. Like many areas, it is getting busier and busier with more and more development planned. Not such a sleepy hollow nowadays.
We set off across the Whananaki footbridge to start the day. Much of the day was close to the coast, although there was only a short stretch of Woolleys Bay where we actually got to walk on the beach itself. It was a mixture of road and grassy farm tracks mainly, with no real steep stuff to contend with.
After about 4km there was an option to take a side trip to see the Capitaine Bougainville Memorial on the headland at the north end of Oruaea Bay. The cargo ship ran into trouble in 1975 and 16 people died when a lifeboat overturned. B decided to do a quick 30 minute return trip without the pack - I sat and caught up on the news of the world!!
While we didn't get down onto many beaches, the bays and beaches were indeed stunning. It's not a part of the country either of us have ever been to before so it was great to be able to see it from the perspective of walking above much of the coastline.
A little more road walking was followed by a short walk through a reserve down into Matapouri Bay settlement. We found the local shop and stocked up on a couple of things, bought some drinks and some delicious hot chips (food for the hiker's soul!!). Then it was on the road heading south for just another couple of kms to get to Tui Cabin - about 500m off the TA track.
Two of the Australian ladies (Kay and Margaret) were there already. They are hitching bits of the road walking, which makes all the sense in the world given their limited time in the country. It was a delightful rustic cabin in the bush with no electricity - but with warm water from a califont for a shower and a double bed for B and me. We had a very pleasant evening catching up with the Aussies - they are all very experienced walkers, having been in lots of parts of the world!! Margaret has been to NZ many times and tramped significant bits of the South Island in particular over the years. Inspires you to want to keep at it!! Kay even suggested we should join a group she was organising for a few weeks hiking in southern Africa in 2017!!
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Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!