The Te Araroa begins at the “Meeting Place” of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea and takes the hiker across lonely beaches, thick muddy bush and past charming coastal villages.
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.