Ken and I left Te Kuiti about 8:00am and started up the first part of the Mangaoweka Gorge past the lime works and an old quarry and eventually over a bridge to the reserve campground.
It was all very nice which may have lead to some underestimation of the time it would take us to do the next part.
The rest of the gorge was very tiring with my right foot always being higher that my left and everything I grabbed seem to be either gorse, blackberry, or some sort of prickly. Added to this some of the banks had been washed away so the track was occasionally a single foothold above a precarious drop into the water. Oh, and it started to rain.
By the time we reached Mangaokewa Road I was tired and after climbing some time we started looking for campsites but nothing pleased us both.
This continued until about 8:00pm and many kilometres later when we both went bugger it and slept beside a Totara near the end of the road too tired to eat more than a snack bar.
Broke the 40kms mark though. That’s a first.
- There is a campground a little up the Mangaokewa Gorge which is really the last stop until the DOC campground at Pureora Forest.
- Check upstream for dead sheep before you drink the water.
- Gloves are handy for situations where everything you grab in prickly.
- I have a tendency to follow the path instead of the trail.
- When you see advice on Facebook. Take a screenshot. I had read about a place you could stay at but there was no cell phone coverage so I didn’t know where it was.