I’m heading to bed now, its been a long day after 8 hours in buses and cars. Well neither of those were true, there were two people who looked like hikers but they were actually going to Taipa to do volunteering, and the bus was full of a large group of 40 or so young people on working holiday visas who had all been out the night before and so were deathly silent on the bus because they were all hungover. And despite all five things charging at once, my phone was still able to “fast charge”. Which I guess is good for its resale value if I decide to sell it after the trail. I can always ditch one pair if I decide that one is enough! Check out my interview with Anna Ridewood, a Te Araroa alumni, who has graciously allowed me to share her story of hiking the length of New Zealand; her anecdotes, tips, tricks and create somewhat of a guide to the Te Araroa trail. I thought that was an interesting idea but it seemed to leak after a while, so I’m glad I didn’t do that. I went over to talk to them because I hadn’t seen anyone since I left the Cape, but on the way over I saw two guys who looked like hikers, so I talked to them instead. Distance walked is the distance I walked according to my GPS Watch (Suunto Ambit 3 Run). While I was outside I had a look at the stars. Here is all my gear, except for the hiking poles and trail runners: All gear except my hiking poles and trail runners. And even if I did get used to not having coffee, I feel like I need at least one hot meal each day. They said they had seen me driving around and wanted to make sure I was alright. A lot of people say that water in New Zealand doesn’t need to be filtered but I’m paranoid about drinking water without filtering ever since I went swimming in the Waikato River when I was 21 and got horribly sick from it. Interestingly, it says on the box “Weight: 270g” but when I got it home and weighed it, it was bang on 400g. The tent has a handy little vestibule to store things outside the tent but inside the rain fly.  I kept my Crocs out there, and they stayed dry despite the fact it rained.  I chose a cabin because it is supposed to rain really hard tonight, and a proper bed was just too tempting. I thought it was an intriguing idea, and after the Queen Charlotte track my friends and I were talking about it on the way back to the airport.  My friends largely scoffed at the idea. The last type of "trail" is farmland. And after being in a great mood after finding the geocache, I wanted to go home and treat myself to a nice dinner. Coast to Coast. For $49 it wasn’t too expensive and it works well, but the T and V keys are smaller because they’re on the fold and therefore harder to type than other keys. Finally, I get to see and talk to someone else! The big day is here. The most … Today was walking on other beaches than 90 mile beach, but starting tomorrow it is 3 or 4 days of walking on 90 mile beach so I will probably at least see people drive past me on the beach. There was one occasion where I had all five USB outlets in use, as you can see. I have seven devices that need charging and when you’re in backpackers, there aren’t a lot of power outlets. Eventually they drove off and I drove off in the other direction. What else does one need. Ernest is the guy that I mentioned in the last post who was walking north up the beach from Ahipara to Cape Reinga because then the wind would be behind him. But at 13km I passed a lot of people parked around a couple of little lifeguard boats.  I thought maybe somebody was in trouble as there were more people here than I had seen on all the rest of the beach put together.  But no, there was some kind of lifeguard training on today.  The commotion here was that one particular lifeguard boat had a bung motor and everyone was trying to fix it. Thursday, January 04, 2018 Wanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley. It went like this: Ghost town, ghost town, it’s a ghost town Guess not. Rehydrated Nasi Goreng on 90 Mile Beach at sunset – does it get any better than this? This campsite is quite nice, there is horse poo everywhere and apparently wild horses usually roam the campground but I didn’t see any tonight. However I still used this cooking system every day to cook dinner – most days I looked forward to actually having a hot dinner. They all disappared at 7pm tonight to go surfing but I didn’t catch where. Between two of us we managed to get the tent (Naturehike Cloud Up 2 Upgrade model) put up, although the instructions provided were not particularly clear.  We had to watch a Youtube video about the tent to work out where the last few ropes and pegs went.  I’m still not completely sure we got it right.  But despite there being an average amount of wind and a small amount of rain during the night, the tent held up fine, although the rain on the roof of the tent was quite loud and that didn’t help me sleep.  The stakes looked small and lightweight but didn’t come out of the ground at all during the night.  I am interested to see how this tent will handle really high winds. The Apricot Crumble on the other hand, just looked like apricots and sugar. Come on… I expected things to go wrong but not on the first night. And also how you guys got your bags to be so light. I didn’t realise until I got to the car park that this track actually used to be part of Te Araroa. I think I made the right choice with the pouch, the 16oz wouldn’t hold much water and the 64oz would be awkward to manoeuver when it was full of water. However Tania, being the great host that she is, invited me into her house which is adjacent to the main camping area and allowed me to use her hot shower.  That was very nice of her. Hooray! I found the geocache hidden in a tree beside the lagoon, which was great. But I got to lie in it and I fit in it okay which I was a bit worried about because I’m 6ft1. My first day on Te Araroa. On the first night! I also looked at second hand ones, but there wasn’t a lot of money to be saved by buying second hand it seemed. It ought to make that clearer on the box. The rain was pretty bad too earlier but at least the rain is supposed to clear tomorrow, at least for a few days… Although the wind is not scheduled to die down. Fortunately nobody saw me struggle to get up… and I did manage to get up, eventually. Despite having just walked 30km, I detoured off the trail a bit and walked out onto The Bluff itself which can only be reached at low tide, so I might not have another chance to go out there. I knew the bus was going to be full because I’d looked at the Intercity website last night. Once I’m home in a month or so, I’ll do my regular “Advice to Future TA Walkers” post that has detail, but for now, I can give a few thoughts. And then, hopefully I will feel wonderful and want to continue. I think all the motorcycles scared them off. Our group met up with a guy called Miguel while we were walking and he was walking the trail, and we heard a bit about it from him.  Suddenly it became clear that “TA SOBO” meant Te Araroa Southbound.  Clearly quite a lot of people were walking this trail, judging by the number of times we saw it in the registers! I mention this idea to my friends, and they are horrified. It was a bit emotional for a few minutes. Te Araroa's route is technically all linked together but it involves miles of road walking to join the trails. After we got to Kerikeri I then transferred to the Kaitaia bus.  Although, that meant that high tide was quite a bit later than usual, and we couldn’t be bothered waiting for the tide to recede, so we left just before high tide. I wasn’t sure exactly how far away these were, but I knew that they were at least another 30km walk tomorrow, or possibly even further. The last type of "trail" is farmland. But now with only two months to go, and now that I’ve actually started buying gear and planning to take time off work (and started a blog), I realise I actually have to go through with it… There’s no turning back now! Then, another 15 minutes later, I spied a snail on the roof of the tent, between the tent and the fly.  I made a mental note in my head to check for snails and slugs before I pack the tent away in the morning. But in my head I was thinking “I could do that”. Back in March it seemed so far away.  I had last seen seals in Wellington by Red Rocks in 2013, although those seals just were lounging around on the rocks and didn’t move. I was lucky to only get one bit of rain and because it was so windy it was sideways rain… But I put my waterproof pack cover on and besides it all dried quickly anyway because of the wind. Lucy talks about the fear, joy, wonder, and at times, boredom, of undertaking such an amazing f “You ok, bro?” and “Nice car eh” I heard. Actually… I’ll miss 90 Mile Beach if I’m honest. If you would like to follow my journey and get emails about new posts, you can subscribe to my blog! Also tried out my hi-viz pack cover for the first time. At times I expected to look to my right and see a shipping port, it was that loud. There was a distinct lack of “crumble”, and the biscuit crumbs that it came with were very fine so I was surprised. Most people I would talk to about the thru-hike would ask that question of me, and they would also ask if I was doing this for charity or to raise funds. Is there anywhere on your sites that you have a gear list. And I can’t wait for one of Tania’s famous Utea Park blueberry smoothies. I’ve got most of my gear now – most importantly backpack, tent, sleeping bag, cooker and clothing. And one of the main reasons for doing the trail is to get me out of my comfort zone. She dropped me off and suddenly I realised I was by myself, with no transportation, nobody I knew around and no cellphone reception. I think I better get up early… Although I’ll probably go to sleep early too because there’s nothing to do here (except write this blog of course!) Beginning: Hello ! George - you gotta road-test Te Araroa some time! At the 3km mark I realised that I was 0.1% of the way through the entire trail. “I might be!” was my reply – I hadn’t told many people by this point that I was doing the walk.  I sent her this selfie from where I happened to be at that time. My fully loaded Osprey Pack with its first “war wounds” on the top from today’s walk, and with the Te Araroa patch now firmly attached. I had a Back Country Cuisine Mexican Chicken which was pretty good. 39 days to go before I start! Te hikoi o Kiri - 0 Miles - From Mangawhai Heads Holiday Park To Govan Wilson Road, Matt & Jasmine - Te Hikoi o Kiri was awesome but brtally steep. Daffodils in Cornwall Park – it must be spring, A mural at the nearby Intermediate School showing landmarks of Mount Eden. They were very beautiful, and there was no moon. Twilight campsite with my tent in the background. They were also walking NZ on the Te Araroa trail. It took exactly 24 full breaths to blow up, which isn’t too bad (except if I’d had a very hard day, then it takes more). Got to Jasmine's place, pricey but ai got two L&P's , some hardboiled eggs and a few cups of … At the 15km mark I could finally see the Ahipara hills. I’d read good things about them on this site.  I guess he stayed at the campground at 17km. Starting out. Two people had looked for it in 2014 and 2015, but failed. I started the trail on 14th October 2017 and finished on 02nd March 2018. I’m not going to pester the TA Trust about this sort of little thing though.  They do a great job providing the trail route in different formats and all the trail notes.  Well, maybe after I’ve given them my donation I might ask them 🤣 🤣. Te Araroa Holiday Park, Te Araroa: See 87 traveller reviews, 40 candid photos, and great deals for Te Araroa Holiday Park, ranked #1 of 3 Speciality lodging in Te Araroa and rated 3 of 5 at Tripadvisor.  There were a few more people down this end of the beach. I thought I’d report on how it went.  Now keep in mind I’m definitely no expert here.  I have spent very little time camping before, so I don’t know what things are supposed to do and what they aren’t supposed to do.  But here’s my opinion after one night! So I only actually stopped at 10km to look for another geocache (again unsuccessfully), 18km when I felt a blister coming on and 23km when there was a bit of rain coming and I put my jacket on. I went with the Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad after reading about it on BikeHikeSafari.  So I settled for a Cornetto from the YHA shop, and also some 2-minute noodles for dinner. Posted on August 16, 2017 August 17, 2017 by Cat Kelley. She told me all about the area which was cool. So I am sure I will run into both these hikers again. My first option was in the DOC land near the lagoon… I could see it on the map but just couldn’t find it. Back on the Te Araroa Trail, I headed for Nicols Hut where I spent the night with Devon and Marina from Maine USA. I got a lot of inspiration for my gear list from that site, and I was following Brad’s blog with interest as he was doing Te Araroa at the start of this year. It’s supposed to be Utea Park’s last night of operation tonight.  Pauly D (the owner, no relation to Pauly D from Jersey Shore) was taking the signs down while I was there, as well as random people coming in and out all afternoon and taking the fixtures and fittings and decorations and anything they could get their hands on.  It was sad to see all the signs come down, but I got to see Pauly’s cool number plate 9TM1LE (I also saw 9TMYLE elsewhere on the beach). I walked Te Araroa – the 3,000km trail that runs the length of New Zealand – between September 2019 and March 2020, and documented it all here on this blog.  Writing the blog post for each day of the walk was one of the highlights of each day. The signage for Te Araroa was still present but last season the whole section between Manurewa and Mercer was on the road rather than through here. I’m lucky to be free to go as fast as I want or as slow as I want, and also to walk as far as I want or to abandon the walk at any time. Since work finished I have been doing various things, some just for fun and to get away from Auckland, and some in preparation for Te Araroa. I have a quite loud and very yellow car that you can’t miss, so as I drove past every person in the town stopped and looked at me. I wanted to see a lot of New Zealand, and for me that definitely includes time in civilisation as well as in the wild places. I walked Te Araroa – the 3,000km trail that runs the length of New Zealand – between September 2019 and March 2020, and documented it all here on this blog. Actually I heard those two sentences a lot while I was travelling down that way… I clearly didn’t look like I belonged. Today was the first sunny day in days according to the forecast so I figured maybe people would start TA today. The first leg of the day was on the eerily gorgeous Turakina Beach. But Cape Reinga to Auckland (Mount Eden) is only about 20% of the whole trail and is a much more realistic and achievable goal for someone like me who is a long-distance-hiking newbie.  Very stylie. Annnnnnnnnnnnndddd… in very typical New Zealand fashion… two minutes after I took this picture, it started raining!!! I started the trail on 14th October 2017 and finished on 02nd March 2018. This morning I was on the chocka-block Intercity bus service IC7324 to Kerikeri from Auckland. The Te Araroa was a great experience for me, but I do feel that someone with limited time in the country may want to prioritize their time a little differently. A blog about hiking the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand Restless Kiwi: Walking the Te Araroa Trail and other adventures around the world Follow the adventures of Kirstine who walked the Te Araroa Trail, a continuous 3,000 km walking track from Cape Reinga to Bluff, New Zealand from 29 October 2014 to 19 February 2015. Despite that, once the tide fell away, I felt a lot better today while walking.  Much better than yesterday for some reason, even though it is my second 30km+ day of hiking in a row. Know most people would start TA today Clarke ) me Hameora Wynyard then Tania from Park! These – boil water, put the water I did sand so no sand blew me... Put it in my opinion no moon thing every day into both these again. Could literally be their last guest in a tree in the morning like it was at 70. 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