Te Araroa Trail to Russel Walkway Junction
Today’s Te Araroa trail was all about the water! I had a considerably leisurely brekkie, then got myself together and was up and out by 9.30am.
Paihia Opua Coastal Walkway
I met Anouck (Belgian) and along with Anja and Markus, Bruce, Amber and Mark we begn the 6km stroll along the very beautiful Paihia – Opua Coastal Walkway. As it was low tide we were able to take the beach sections instead of the road.
Northland turned on another brilliant day for us!! The sun warmed us up as we made our way through the mangrove walkway.
We reached Opua and met Darren from Great Escape charters who took us across the Waikare estuary to the start of the next trail. As he only had a little boat, we had to get across in two trips and we only had a small window of opportunity to get through the mangroves on a high tide.
Note that some people kayak this stretch. We had heard that it took rather a long time (most of the day) and that if the wind got up it was an absolute battle to get into the inlet.
Papakauri River Walk
Once over, we had a 6km track before embarking on another beautiful river walk, through the Papakauri river 4kms to tonight’s camp. We all came into camp around the same time and had dinner in the early evening sun.
Russell Walkway Junction Camp
In the evening we made a great campfire and set up a shoe drying station around it as New Zealand’s nighttime chorus of birds and insects began to sing around us.
Just before bedtime I discovered I had an ant colony making itself at home in the vestibule of my tent and all over my pack. Luckily there was a cooking shelter at the camp so I hooked my pack to the washing line – hoping it will still be there (and neither mouse nor possum damaged) tomorrow morning.