November 3, 2016
km travelled today: 27
total TA km: 339
Today was a great one. The day began the same old way. We woke up at 6:30 at the Whananaki Holiday Park for a breakfast of Bumper Bars and promptly got moving. We started by crossing the Whananaki Footbridge which as we learned from Mick Beckers’ blog is the longest footbridge in the southern hemisphere!
After catching some gorgeous glimpes of coastline, we began the Whananaki Coastal Track.
Gravel road walking took us back and forth along the coast, occasionally dipping inland for some hilly farm walking. Soon we took to a paved road until we reached the small coastal locality of Matapouri, where we topped up on some massive servings of Tip Top ice cream and a bag of “crisps.”
The walking in the forest was mostly great, with the odd exception of downhill mud-walking of which Raetea taught us such fondness. The forest opened into a nice wide track with the occasional coastal view through the trees.
During our descent out of the forest we passed a massive Kauri Tree, big enough to have a name which unfortunaly escapes me. There we took our lunch break and described in vivid detail the chicken wings we wish we had in place of our current GORP combo.
Out of the forest we were just a couple of K from Ngunguru. Once we got to town we swung my Mila’s Backpacker Ranch, a gorgeous spot tucked away in Ngunguru. For $10 pp per night, its a sweet option for camping. For $16 you cam stay in a caravan transformed into cabin called “Love Shack.”
We made a big rice dinner and talked to James for a couple of hours about everything from his help maintaining and constructing sections of the TA, to the US presidential election. James is a sweet man and an incredible host.
Awesome day, feeling so great to be on this trail with these dudes.