Today – 26.8km from Puhoi Domain to Stillwater Motor Camp
Total – 548.7km
Firstly, the km count is so wrong today because we definitely did more like 30km. The Guthook App which has a km count unfortunately seemed out of sync at the last update.
Unfortunately the tides and weather had other plans instead of letting us go kayaking down the Puhoi river to Wenderholm so myself, Aaron and Sarah set off early to walk the alternate route.
We arrived in Waiwera after a road walk that was much less scary than the stories I had heard. Luckily it was Saturday and we started early, and the highway had a decent shoulder and space behind the guard rails to hide behind.
Arrived in Waiwera just a few minutes shy of half an hour before low tide, and after checking the TA notes, decided we would go for the low tide rock hop around the coast to Hadfields beach, despite the weather
The weather was meant to crap out on us overnight, and we had all battened down the hatches on the tents expecting high winds and storm force rain but we got a few spots of rain and some passing gusts but nothing too major.
Packed up quick this morn, and the road walk flew by. We were in Orewa by 10ish hunting down a second breakfast – a pie in my case. Noms.
The beach walk was cool, but man the sea was rough today , slippery rocks, we were thankful the rain held off and kept going steadily as being stuck as the tide comes in was not on my to do list today.
Every now and then a massive gust of wind would try knock me sideways so got to work on my balance as I scrambled over the rocks to the next sheltered bay.
There was a sweet viewpoint looking down over Orewa.
After grabbing some goodies in Orewa and catching up with M & J the five of us trooped on towards Silverdale via the estuary track.
The rest of the afternoon was spent avoiding cars and playing the raincoat on raincoat off game as the weather teased us.
Finally we came around the corner to the lovely Stillwater motorcamp, where a smiling figure greeted us under an umbrella and showed us to the big hall where TA hikers can shelter and sleep in for free, and even gave us a 50c coin for the slot showers. What a legend!
Amazing support shown for hikers. Tommorrow everyone will be rising at the same time to walk a few km to the place where we have to cross the Okura Estuary, which could be waist height or higher.
Looking forward to seeing my family and Tom tommorrow but sad to part ways for now with my hiker family who are heading separate ways. Everyone’s taking a few days in Auckland to either walk sections or rest then some will skip the next part and pick it up later or down to hamilton.
Tonight we enjoyed a last night in each others company and played some games, ate heaps of snacks and just chilled out.
Northland to Auckland has been a real treat, the trail has gone from just an idea to a reality and I’ve had a blast. Looking at doing a summary post as well as a couple of posts revolving around some key areas such as road walking and river /water/estaury logistics and crossings.