Today we were planning to get to Bog Inn Hut and didn't expect it to be an arduous day so packed up the tent site and set off about 0830. The GPS data for the day is here - as you can see, we ended up doing less than 18km today - but there was no way we would have made it comfortably to the next hut (Waihaha) so that was fine by us!
We knew we were following the Timber Trail cycle trail for a fair bit of the way today so were expecting some nice walking conditions - we weren't disappointed! It's a well used cycle way - 85km to Taumarunui - with nicely-graded paths, extensive signage and good bridges etc. We are definitely not used to the luxuries afforded these bikers!!
The signage was worth stopping to read - I thought I would include a selection below!!
The forest has been in recovery since the cessation of selective logging (in the early 80's maybe?) and makes for a beautiful walk. The vegetation starts off in the lowland areas with podocarp forest dominated by rimu, mataī, miro and tawa. As you get higher you get into what DoC describes as montane forest with Hall’s tōtara, tāwheowheo and kāmahi. These forests grow on pumice and ash-derived soils - as a result of historic Taupo eruptions.
So our day consisted of the initial 12km or so on the cycle trail before TA took us on a detour (of course!!) up the top of Mt Pureora. This was fairly steep and muddy in places - just to remind us that we are trampers/hikers, not cyclists!!
Then it was back down Mt Pureora to rejoin the cycle trail for a couple of kms before turning off that trail (for the last time) and heading on the Hauhangaroa Track towards Bog Inn Hut. This, of course, was back onto advanced tramping track material :-).
It was a slight detour off the track to get to Bog Inn Hut which we reached just after 1500 - so a relatively early stop. Bog Inn Hut is a classic!! Built in 1960 by the old Forest Research Institute, it is made of hand sawn timber and allows for the entry of lots of fresh air!! We had been warned of rats being a problem (although the DoC guy at Pureora said they had been poisoning) in the hut, so made sure our food bags were hung up out of reach (hopefully). As it turned out, we had no rat issues at all overnight - so a pleasant surprise!! We also got a small fire going - although a lack of dry wood, and no axe or saw (apart from my Leatherman!) meant that it was a fairly pathetic excuse for a fire and eventually it died out for want of fuel!! So it was curl up in the sleeping bags and go to sleep!
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"!!