TA Day 8 – Dairy and Apples

Today – 18km from Makene Rd campsite to Apple Dam camp

Total – 172.4km

Woke up to condensation everywhere, and a beautiful blue sky with the sun rising to get really hot, really quick.

The sun is a scorcher here. Having been away from NZ for a while, I have been extra careful in the sun as to not get burned.

The good news is that the sun is also very powerful in helping dry wet items really fast, so to my delight my boots were 95% dry putting them on this morn. I’ve been really pleased with them so far, and also pleasantly surprised that the only time the boots have been wet is when I gave them a bath after Raetea forest yesterday. Very unlike NZ!

Had a chat to the farmer who made the campsite area for trampers coming out of the forest, he was lovely and said he is going to try get the grader to flatten out the ground a little if he can for next season. It’s so great chatting with friendly supportive locals.

It’s been a little disappointing talking to some hikers met along the trail that aren’t very well prepared. I don’t mean physically, but some people seem to know extremely little about the trail and don’t even seem to have trail notes, etc, and expect to be able to camp anywhere, anytime. Although that would be nice, it is not the case in NZ and care needs to be taken on private land, and in certain places camping in designated areas .

With Kauri Dieback being very problematic, it is also asked that trampers stick to designated campsites in certain areas, but again unfortunately there are a few hikers out there that think those guidelines don’t apply to them. It’s a shame, as the TA trust has worked hard to produce really awesome resources like detailed maps and notes, and all the information is in there, but some don’t seem to want to know.

It’s also surprising how some people don’t have the notes or proper navigation, even though the maps are all provided on the TA website. I spoke to several people on the beach section who had zero knowledge of the Herikino forest closure, even though it has been closed since the beginning of the hiking season.

Today I tramped with a lovely Dutch couple, Jasper and Marta who joined camp later yesterday evening. It was awesome talking about heaps of different NZ tramps they have done but also learning about cool hikes in Europe, and some of the experiences they have had. They are experienced trampers and really well prepared.

Today was centered around the pit stop at the Mangamuka dairy. After 6km on SH1, where there was a pretty good shoulder most of the time so not too hairy, we stopped off for some delicious treats at the dairy. The owners are super hiker friendly and welcoming, and have some space out the back for camping if it’s your destination for the night.

Delicious NZ icecream – Yum

The afternoon was a stroll through some forestry roads into the Omahuta forest.

Kauri Dieback disease is affecting the trees in this area so its important to only camp in the designated areas. Apple Dam campsite was our destination .Took a small detour to the Big Stump and then it started drizzling, and made our way to camp.

Saw some epic kauri trees, looking forward to seeing more tommorrow.

Had a lovely evening with new friends.

We have Aaron & Sarah from the US [Washington & California] , Scarlett from France, Marie from Belgium, Carmen from Canada, and Jasper & Marta from the Netherlands.

Tommorrow is a big day to make it through the detour of forestry tracks rather than tramping tracks to Puketi recreation campsite on the eastern end of the forest. Early night after a big feed.

Today we cracked 100 miles for our American mates, and tommorrow will be the longest hike km wise [over 190km] that I have done. Bring it on!

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