Te Araroa Trail – Road Walking the Whanganui river
Anouck and I were up and out by 6am this morning to beat the heat.
Within half an hour of leaving Pipiriki we had a couple of interesting animal encounters. The first involved four frisky horses loose on the road. As we walked on they trotted on ahead of us. We thought we’d better pause so as not to herd 4 horses in front of us for the next 30kms. We ducked into a driveway and amazingly the horses obediently trotted back past us.
Next were two young bulls. They were stuck on the wrong side of the fence outside their paddock. We gave them a wide berth, crossed the road, and they allowed us to pass. But along with all the other bulls in the paddock, they followed us with interest until those in the paddock had no more paddock left to walk in, so they left us to our morning.
Jerusalem to Matahiwi
It was a cool, foggy morning and we walked through 20kms of some breathtaking scenery as we’re followed the Whanganui river.
We passed through the village of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is home to a beautiful convent, which we didn’t visit as it was only 7.30am. We continued on through Ranana settlement and past the Kawana flour mill, to Matahiwi and the wonderful Matahiwi Gallery. It was morning tea time and extremely hot and sunny and Marlene our serene host, gave us a couple of large slabs of still-warm vegetarian quiche which I followed up with carrot cake. It was outstanding.
To Koriniti and the Flying Fox
From there it was 9kms to Koriniti and The Flying Fox Eco accommodation. We saw the sign and wandered down the long driveway. We bonged a little gong to announce our arrival to the owners (who were across the other side of the river)
As it happens we were just collecting ourselves, when Kelly and Jane our hosts saw us, and sent over the cable car/flying fox which was to be our transportation across the river. We nervously climbed in, somewhat alarmed at the ‘bounce’ it made as it accepted our weight. Soon we were under way. We floated 20m above the river for the couple of minutes journey and landed safely on the other bank.
The Flying Fox is a gem of a place which is tucked away on the riverside with a selection of camping, glamping and cabin options.
I will definitley be back here again one day! We camped, and had a lovely outdoor kitchen, open/outdoor hot shower in the woods and composting loo. There was also a fridge full of homemade ice-cream, wine, beer, soft drinks, cheeses and all manner of other essentials for purchase.
We enjoyed a lovely evening. Beautiful, bubbly French gal Ines joined us – she is part hiking TA and part WWOOFing. Then there was German retiree Karl who is section-hiking TA – who gave us some valuable advice about some of the walk to come.