TA Day 69 – The end of the North

Today – 28km from Mt Kaukau to North Island Terminus , Island Bay

Total- 1688km – woohoo!

Today was the day! I spent the night at Casey’s then got up as usual when my body woke me, and trotted off to the bus stop down the road.

The plan was to catch the bus to Johnsonville where I could walk to pick the trail back up where I left off yesterday.

Except I got on the wrong bus!

After the grand tour of the Wellington suburbs, and getting to the last stop, I clarified with the bus driver that I needed to be on Bus 1, variant 10, instead of just Bus 1. Oops. Oh well, he was a legend and dropped me off and I walked a few kms back up to where the trail picked up.

The wind was brutal again, and I was keen to get up and over Mt Kaukau quickly without being blown off. It was lovely hiking with just a small day pack with the essentials.

I was tramping up the well formed track and who do I spy in front of me but Iben, Ralph and Laine, who I thought would be way ahead of me! Awesome!

A quick summit snap and then swiftly on our way, the wind was intense and ringing in my ears. The beanie and fleece came out.

Beautiful views over Wellington and the coast, pretty impressed with all the parks I’ve seen so far.

I decided to tramp with the team into Welly, and from there we wound our way through suburbs and urban tracks, stopping for a well needed coffee break.

It’s weird being back in a city but it’s even weirder thinking we have arrived at the end of the North Island. Crazy! The full weight of what we have all achieved definately hasnt hit me.

Walking into the main CBD the team had some errands to do , so I bid them farewell and cruised on in search of some lunch.

Then it was time for the last 12km of the North Island. The Wellington section takes you up and down every hill in the city. Thankfully the wind died a bit and there was some shade.

It was nice walking along the waterfront by the marina and then also up Mt Victoria and Mt Albert. The tracks are the Northern and Southern walkways and are well marked.

Even got to see a baby hedgehog, yuss!

And then it was 2kms to go on the footpath round the coast at Island Bay, and into a park with lots of kids and picnickers, and then…

Boom, North Island complete!

Kind of a weird moment, standing there grinning and giving myself a pat on the back and some chocolate, then awkwardly asking a nearby person to take a photo.

And soon I was back on a bus to the CBD.

I’m stoked at the adventure so far. Achieving walking the length of the North Island is huge, and I’m so proud of all the TA walkers for getting here. What an incredible way to see the country, meet amazing people, both hikers and kiwis, and enjoy nature.

Thanks to my feet and body, the real MVPs, for getting me here. Excited for the South Island!

Also the amount of support and encouragement from people known and unknown has been incredible. The generosity and kindness of people along the way is truly appreciated.

Casey and I went out to an awesome Thai place, then headed to the waterfront to go for a walk ( because apparently I like going for walks) πŸ™‚ the sunset was gorgeous on the surrounding hills.

The next couple of days will be spent resting and getting my stuff sorted for the South Island, including printing maps, organising food packages to be sent, and thinking of any gear repairs that need doing.

I’ll be doing a North Island summary post sometime in the near future. So stay tuned!

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