TA Day 11 – Kerikeri to Paihia

Today – 26.1km from Kerikeri to Paihia

Total 253.4km

Welcome to the east coast! We made it! Today started great, a little slow in the holiday park in Kerikeri and then off to Hunting and Fishing [the local outdoor shop] to grab some necessities for the next leg. For me, that included a new knife and a gas canister.

Unfortunately, my knife got lost somewhere between Kaitaia and the start of the Raetea forest, very sadly. I hope someone has made good use of a new knife if they found it!

This is mini Gerber, who is going to cut so much cheese in its future.

Then off to New World for some snacks for the day. I will resupply for the next section in Paihia to avoid carrying unnecessary weight for a day.

This morning we did some picking up of each others backpacks and my new friends couldn’t believe how light mine was.

I still carry everything for a safe and comfortable walk but have definately shed unnecessary stuff from coming with me.

So far I havent sent anything home, I have thought about a few small items but will keep them until Auckland and then do a reshuffle if needed.

The trail followed the Kerikeri river track for a while longer, and then headed up some local roads to the start of the Waitangi Forest.

We bought a bag of roadstand capsicums and shared them, delish!

Into the pine forest for about 16km, and enjoyed walking on very easy wide tracks, and enjoying some good chats with Sarah. It’s really awesome to find someone who you connect with and can have very meaningful conversations with in the first few days of knowing each other.

We started to feel our bodies tire and time crept away in the afternoon due to a late start.

Had a funny moment where we wanted to go see the commemorative opening plaque noting the first section of the Te Araroa Trail so we followed the trail notes “a short walk up the road”. After 400m of not finding anything we thought , it’s too far , or have we missed it, and came back and found the plaque about 5 steps from the junction!

Coming out of the forest we were greeted with spectacular views of the bay of islands with Paihia, our destination in sight.

The bodies were weary but we were grateful for the hot shower and big feed ahead.

Nachos it is!

Tommorrow I’m having a sleep in and lazy morning, we are meeting to kayak up the waikere inlet in the afternoon.

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