Left Ahipara at 7:00am and headed for the Herikino track.
Arrived at the start super early as I accepted a lift up the hill from a young guy going to his first day of work on a farm. There goes my walking NZ credibility. In my defence, I had already been accosted by three dogs that morning and it looked like it was going to become a theme.
The track was quite steep at the beginning, muddy, slippery, and quite good fun. Then it headed off over a series of ridge lines and around peaks, through some stands of large Kauri, and up another ascent until it came to Diggers Road (an old mining road I think) which was great. If a little boggy at times.
The final ascent to the highest peak didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would but the descent took ages through slippery steep terrain.
A great thing about Te Araroa is that if you are ever in doubt that you have gone the right way you can always look down and see the small holes made by others walking poles. It was all very well marked though.
Having completed all that, I thought I should try and push through to the next track. I haven't made it though so now it looks like I will be sleeping in a derelict forestry shed.
The whole idea of keeping going was to beat the weather and not get stuck at Apple Dam for too long. This now looks even more in doubt. Oh well. Cest la vie.
It really is a lovely shed. Very me :).
Shortly after writing the above I heard the sound of singing down the valley and, after a brief moment of think I was going mad, two more trampers turned up. Bertinna and Josie.
- Dogs can be a problem. Although I don't know of anyone who has been bitten on Te Araroa, there have been a few close incidents. Another plus for walking poles. In general, ignore them and they will ignore you.
- There were a couple of trucks on the road down to the forest. Put your Hi Viz vest on and get off the road when they come through. They don't have much room.
- Keep an eye on where you are going through the pine forest. Berttina and Josie got talking and missed a turn off. I almost missed it.
- Walking on to Takahue only takes about another hour and a half from the pine forest. Call the guy there from the notes and stay at his place. I didn't, but supposedly he is great and on the Trust. He also makes knives with a forge.
The Shack Map