Sunday, 15 September 2013

Day 15 & 16: Ngungaru and Pataua

Almost the moment I had posted my last blog, a fierce storm whipped up and really kept me interested through the night! By daybreak I was a bit tired after regular rounds of the tarp and guy lines etc to ensure it wasn't blown away. 
Despite the underside of my hammock getting a good soaking, I remained warm, but I was happy to see daybreak and after putting back on all of my sopping, cold clothes, I broke camp and got a brisk pace going.
After another farm track slippery slide I was greeted with views from the top of my night location
I slid down the hill, ruminating on the regularity with which I get covered in cow excrement these days. I must be blessed.
Getting into Whananaki I had a chat with some of the locals about the storm- apparently mini-tornado ripped through somewhere to go with the lightning  storm. they also served up a really tasty homemade chicken and veggie pie for my breakfast, which I ate so fast I didn't get a pic!
Next, a wee walk across the estuary on the 'longest wooden walkway in the Southern Hemisphere'. This caused me much excitement.
Dampened slightly by a stroll on the estuary mud.
Along the coastal walk I met Colin and Ann from Jo'burg and chatted briefly about Te Araroa, before resuming my journey which followed some beautiful farmland trails and beaches. I don't know who owns some of those beach houses, but wow.
After what felt like a very long day (lack of sleep), I stumbled into Ngungaru and went about the serious business of drying out my gear, provisions for the rugby and finding a pub. What? No pub? Anyway, I did find a tv. And bourbon. That'll do donkey, that'll do.
This morning's walk was all road verge stuff, which I am slowly getting accustomed to. Funny, you see signs to places such as Whangarei, and the driving distances are far more efficient than the Te Araroa trail, but I suppose that's the point- the journey through some varied and often spectacular (or different) parts of NZ. And explains why the big difference with kms shown on the Cape Reinga sign, I think as the crow flies it says around 1,400 km. 
As for weird stuff along the way today, I noted a particular house with CCTV on the front gate, and speculated it might be  Kim dot Com's hideaway retreat in Northland.
And this guy on the side of the road, a face carved into a fallen log.
So for some more road verge walking. Which made my heart sing to come round a road bend to see this:
Also, I spied a family of Pateke, and more bunnies than in Watership Down. 
On dusk I reached Pataua South
and rigged my hammock at a beautiful spot on the estuary, loving the sounds of the various birds tonight down here, even with the whine of mossies!
Another big walking day tomorrow should see me over Bream Heads and into Whangarei for a rest and resupply, and a catchup with family. And so to bed.


  1. Ha! I thought the longest wooden walkway was on Stewart Island! Yes, I know that's not true, but boy did it sure feel like it that day! I'm glad you survived that horrid weather!

  2. But the way, how wonderful to be able to sleep in such a wonderful spot!!