Flew up to Whangarei from Wellington yesterday and just as we were sitting waiting for our bags, Belinda spotted Hugh from Tidesong driving past! He was heading home to pick up another mower, and noticed the timing of our arriving flight, so came past to pick us up :-)!! So he took us straight to Tidesong - saved us hitching!
Was great to catch up with Ros and Hugh - Ros prepared us a lovely roast chicken for dinner to help fortify us for the next couple of days!
We slept in their lovely little cabin this time so we could see the sunrise - a great way to get the new day underway. With low tide at 0400, we decided to wait for high tide and row across the estuary at around 1000. Hugh came in a kayak so he could take the little rowboat back. We have really appreciated the hospitality shown by Ros and Hugh - helps make the trail an even more fantastic experience.
We set of from the other side of the Taiharuru estuary about 1030 for the hike up to the trig atop Kauri Mountain - at 245m. A mixture of pasture, metal road and some asphalt, before a little bush walk to the trig.
Stopped there for a while to make some phone calls and to recover! We are definitely noticing the 10 day break we have just had! Then it was a couple of kms down through bush before another couple of kms on metal roads to the beach where we stopped for a lunch break. A very leisurely day relatively speaking - helping us to ease into the Te Whara walk tomorrow, which will be a lot more challenging for our "rested" bodies!
After the break it was 7 km down the beach to camp for the night on grass next to the carpark at Ocean Beach, near the start of Te Whara walkway (Bream Head) - arriving there about 1600. We had expected water there as there is a Whangarei council toilet there. Unfortunately the tank was dry so I wandered up the road a short way where one of the locals very kindly let me full up bottles from his rainwater supply. People are generally very helpful! Nice picnic tables for us to get out dinner prepared as well :-).
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"!!