After 3 flights, and 36 hours of travel, I start the hike, falling asleep to crashing waves at Twilight.
Following the stairs down from Scott Point, the Blissful Hiker begins the Ninety Mile Beach.
Awakened by wild horses, the Blissful Hiker heads back onto the long, lonely Ninety Mile Beach.
On the final day walking the Ninety Mile Beach, the wind changes and brings blow carts my way.
Tuis, bell birds, roots and mud – the deepest I've seen in my entire life – in the Raetea Forest.
The mud continues until the bush abruptly ends at rolling hills headed toward more bush.
A long walk through the Puketi forest takes me past manuka honey bees and a kauri forest.
It's a long walk mostly on easy forest track and farm fields to Rainbow Falls and Kerikeri.
I take my first "zero day" near Kaeo and eat mussels, oysters and take a huge nap.
The start of the Te Araroa is a trial of sand, wind, rain and mud, but it's worth it.
It's "easy tramping" all day to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and finally Pahia.
The trail is on water as I kayak up the beautiful Waikare Estuary.
The Papakauti stream is the trail through the magical Russell Forest, followed by road to Helena Bay.
It's straight up on a ridge with sensational views, then deep into steep up-and-down bush.
Crossing the longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere at Whananaki, the trail is easy along beaches.
An easier day on a sprained ankle through the chest-deep Horahora River to Tidesong.
The birds, people, and sound of my feet through water, mud and sand were the hiking conversation.
From Tidesong, it's a walk across the Taiharuru estuary to Ocean beach then up magnificent Bream Head.
It's 76 flights of stairs out of Peach Cove, then over foggy Mt. Lion to Smugglers Bay and Marsden Point.
It's a beach walk with spectacular reflections, then up a steep hill to views from DragonSpell.
The views are astounding on the Mangawhai Cliffs, after a long road walk, Blissful camps on Pakiri Beach.
From Pakiri beach, it's straight up into muddy bush and views from Mt Tamahunga before the Dome Forest.
It's "tramping track" through the Dome Forest, one boardwalk section of Kauri, and a long walk to Puhoi.
Blissful waits out the tides at the Puhoi Pub, then kayaks down the river to Wenderholm.
There is a lot of magic on a thru-hike when we have faith and juts let it happen.
The tides must be timed to walk the beautiful rocky beach near Orewa, then it's road to Stillwater.