Leaving Paihia was a bit harder than expected. We had called Dusty to arrange transportation up the Waikare Inlet and were set to meet him at Opua at 4:15pm which was lucky really because the rain wasn’t stopping.
Eventually we just left and walked through the rain along the road in order to make sure we were there on time.
The rain had stopped by the time we got to Opua and we were met shortly after by Harry and Emma who had left an hour after us and had had lovely time walking around the coastline in the sun.
Dusty was late. He also said he was in the wrong boat so we had to go really quickly (It was a deep V) or he might get stuck as we had missed the tide. What followed was a speedy, but controlled, dash through the harbour into the mangroves where we disembarked on a grass bank and then he was off again.
After that it was pretty much just walk as far as we could. An hour later we made it to the start of the river section and camped up for the night.
- You will need to book a boat to take you up to the trail-head. This is the second time that tides will rule your life as the estuary is shallow at the end.
- The boat owner can help you find other people to go up with. Make sure you are on time. They get really angry at people saying they will come and then not turning up.
- If the boat is not your thing then the walk round was quite nice from what I heard.
- If you can get there early then there is a decent camp at the top of the river walk. But, if you reach the river too late then camp at the bottom. There really weren’t many flat places I saw in between.