Te Araroa Trail Nichols hut to Waitewaiwai hut
My night in the tent outside Nichols hut in the beautiful Tararua rangess started off freezing, then I had to unpeel all the layers during the night. A perfectly still night gave way to another beautiful morning.
I got up at 5am. I opted for a nature pee this morning, as the actual toilet was completely covered in a blanket of huge black blowflies.
I left at 6am to climb the ridge to Mt Crawford 1462m...
Te Araroa Trail Priongia
I had a pretty bad sleep last night the Pahautea hut, mostly due to being allergic to the perfume-drenched shirt the lady in the bunk above hung up on our bed :-(
I woke at 5.45am to find numerous people had arrived at the hut in the night and were sleeping on the floor! Anja, Markus and I were out by 6.45am after a quiet breakfast.
Next time I'll be careful before singing the virtues of mud and climbing. After the glorious ascent of Mount Pirongia...
Te Araroa Trail Pirongia
The easy walking and slackpacking of the past few days had turned me into a bit of a sissy, but after an hour on Pirongia mountain with a fully loaded 16kg pack or thereabouts, I remembered how wonderful it is to be climbing in the forest, getting muddy again!!
The trail started on the Nikau track, which was a gentle 3kms or so to the campsite. From there the Tahuanui track led to the summit.
I started at 8am and reached the summit at 905m by midday....
Te Araroa Trail Mercer to Rangiriri
I had an early start this morning. I set off on the trail at 7am from Mercer. The first trail was the Whangamarino Redoubt track, then a wetlands track. After the wetlands there was a nasty 2k stretch adjacent to SH1.
Finally, I got to the 17kms of trail next to the Waikato river.
Along the Waikato River
Some of the trail was easy walking on the stopbank with lovely scenery. Some was not so great - bashing through...
Te Araroa Trail Waipu to Mangawhai ** TA Highlight**
We started the day with bacon and eggs then Mary dropped us to the start of the Lang's View track stretch of Te Araroa trail. Markus had a rest day due to injury, so we left the majority of our pack items with him (slackpackers!) and just the ladies began the walk.
Today's trail gave us some variety again, starting with forests and with some great views over yesterday's beach walk. This turned into gravel track, road, fields,...
Te Araroa Trail "Chicken Poison day"
A day of Te Araroa trail surprises today. Apparently the unidentified bird I heard in the night was a kiwi - wow! :-)
Today we started on a 4 wheel drive track out of the forest, which became a full road walk. Road walking is a bit tedious but at least the countryside around us was very pretty.
Anouck, Bruce and I walked to Helena Bay where we stopped to buy some fruit at a roadside stall. Several minutes later Barry, the stall owner...