The thru-tramper enjoys two Great Walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and the Whanganui River, where they put down their hiking poles for a paddle.
TA Day 46, Te Porere Redoubt to Mangatepopo track – 27 km
The weather is perfect for the spectacular volcanic Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
TA Day 47, Mangatepopo track to National Park – 30 km
Blissful awakens to a snow-covered Ruapehu and the storms don’t hit until she’s in town.
TA Day 48, National Park to Katieke War Monument – 27 km
It’s easy walking down with a view of the conical Mt Taranaki to the Retaruke Valley and camping.
TA Day 49, Katieke War Moument to Whakahoro – 24 km
It’s a long road walk to the Blue Duck Station where canoes await at Wade’s landing.
TA Day 50, Whakahoro to John Coull, (38 km)
We learn to paddle rapids, repack our barrels and set off through cliffs, falls and see three bats.
TA Day 51, John Coull to Tieke Kainga, (32 km)
From the Bridge to Nowhere, it’s not far to a powhiri welcome at the Maori community, Tieke Kainga.
TA Day 52, Tieke Kainga to Flying Fox, (52 km)
We paddled 3 sets of rapids including 50/50 which ejects half those who dare paddle through.
TA Day 53, Flying Fox to Hipango Park, (34 km)
It’s a day of rain and interesting cliffs to mysterious Hipango Park with oddly scattered long drops.
TA audio narrative: best birthday present ever
Good weather and good friends add up to one of the best birthdays in memory.
TA Day 54, Hipango Park to Whanganui, (30 km) + 7 km
It’s a short paddle into Whanganui where Blissful meets George and Rob, her ‘guardian’ trail angels.
TA Day 55, Whanganui to Koitiata, 33 km
It’s road from Whanganui to Koitita beach, massive driftwood on black sand and a magical sunset.
TA Day 56, Koitiata to Mount Lees Reserve, 37 km
A bit of beach walk then river cross leads through pine forest to Bulls and finally a lovely reserve.
TA audio narrative: thru-canoer
Blissful hangs up her hiking shoes for a paddle on the Whanganui River.