Waipu(260.1)-Mangawhai Heads Holiday Park(278.2)
Campsite Elevation: Sea Level
The glow worms are pretty cool. When everyone turns off their headlamps, it’s like seeing a whole constellation of little green stars overhead.
With our morning field trip, we didn’t get to hiking until 10:45am, much later than we had planned, but it was totally worth it. There were a couple hours of paved highway walking that then turned into a gravel logging road that wove up and up and up.
Again, headphones saved us all. I found three radio stations I was able to flip between with music I enjoy (current pop stuff) and I was really entertained. Will said he did have a “WTF moment” today that came and went where he questioned the stupidness of all the highway road walking. I think we’ve all had those moments for sure. With so many people around us hitching and people randomly pulling over offering rides, it can really mess with your head if you’re trying to reason walking this thing. There is supposedly some insanely long road walk coming up in a week and I think it’s also playing with our heads knowing it’s coming. We did get some nice views overlooking the ocean and entertained ourselves with fun photos.
We saw our regular crew as we walked today. Having some brief conversation as we overlapped helped with the day. It was at least a morale boost to know others were toughing out the road walking. We saw all of them the second half of the day on the more forested road and actual track walking that was slippery and muddy.
All day, I had been in contact with a hiker I met on the Bibbulmun a couple months ago named Baptiste. He is now in NZ with his girlfriend and her parents who are traveling the world on a boat the last two years. He wanted to meet up and give us some trail magic, so we all met at the end of the day after a section of sheep pasture walking that led to a nice coastal track and a walk on a beach. It was a Saturday, so many people were out and about. I will note that there were great photos today, but honestly, most of it was the road walking though the photos don’t reflect that. It can be deceiving. It was really great scenery off the road!
The trail magic and coastal views were a great bookend to the mostly mundane day on trail. Really lifted our spirits. Plus, it was Johanna’s first trail magic! She’d never even heard of it. THANK YOU Baptiste!By the time we finished eating a ton of banana bread, bananas, juice, and strawberries we all were not feeling like going late another 4mi/7km to a free yard we could camp in. That was the goal so we wouldn’t have to pay $9US/$12 each to camp in an open field at a Holiday Park just off the ocean. We just took the hit once again and stopped at 6pm after agreeing that it would just wear us out and end the day poorly in possible rain if we pushed on. There’s no rush and we are still making great progress.
We spotted a space near some trees away from the 20+ other weekenders and pitched there protected from the wind. It even rained and we didn’t feel it. A great spot! Emily and Bill arrived and joined as well. There are two others TAers that we have caught up to in the big field as well.Will and Becky have made it some record number of days with a sofa and were able to hitch to a nearby convenience store to get their nightly fix. It was fun interactions as we all are snug under the trees and dry. Good thing we stopped. I’m excited to maybe catch up on some sleep.
I like it so much that you hike the TA as it is and don´t cherrypick just the off-road sections!!! Keep it up!
Years ago my husband and I bought a one way ticket to backpack around the world. NZ is still, to this day, our favorite country. I’m so, so, so happy to know that Kiwis are still the most hospitable, wonderful people. I hope it never changes. Enjoy them because you will miss them after you’re gone. I do.
Is there much traffic on the roads you’re walking? I’m assuming a bit more on paved than gravel or dirt but curious if it’s constant or occasional. You photos of the road walks with the green fields and ocean views are fantastic. I wouldn’t mind those walks.
The TA really brings HYOH to life. We didn’t encounter as many hikers as you are, but if we did, I probably would have been convinced to hitch!!! Instead my purist husband made me walk and the roads and you know what? Now that it’s over, I am so grateful I did!!! So good on you for resisting the peer pressure.
I will be honest, I am not warming to the Te Aroroa. Some of the locals seem quite chippy, and for a mountain walker like me, all this coastal and road walking does not appeal. Still Erin I am not one to leave you in the lurch, I will continue to check in from time to time and see how things are going.. maybe the South Island will be more interesting/amenable .. anyway good luck!
Completely understandable Jerry! It’s unique and I’m trying to embrace something different, but it does feel awkward and I greatly ache for quality time in the wilderness…which shouldn’t be happening when I’m in the middle of a “thru-hike.” I think from here on, things will get more remote hopefully once I get out of Auckland.
You’re so lucky to see the caves and glow worms. Beautiful coastal path when you’re on it.
Very cool to see the glow worms!
Nice coastal views, too.
The TA continues to surprise. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll travel to hike in a place that’ll call your name and you’ll never turn back! Let it all speak to you and wash you in it’s care and comfort.
Carrying that sofa for a record number of days is a real testament to Will and Becky’s endurance 🙂
Caves, glow worms, trail magic, and coastal views! Sounds amazing!