hike blog

TA Day 12, Waikare to Helena Bay – 28 km

I get an early start. It’s overcast just as I like it. Someone else is up with a weed wacker. I wonder if he’s the same guy with the music. Soon I’ll use the river as a trail.

A big bull leaves loud patties in a screen of trees. I’m already a bit lost. Not exactly, I have GPS but nothing is marked and it’s a weedy, wet, barbed wire nightmare. Is it too much to put up a few signs?

This area is Maori and off the grid. Cars, garbage, rusting metal implements lay about. Poverty? Sure, but it’s a community too. I was told I’d meet trail angels. I’d like that.

Junked cars along the Te Araroa.
Junked cars along the Te Araroa.
The Papakauti stream is the official trail through the Russell Forest.
The Papakauti stream is the official trail through the Russell Forest.
A caravan as a guest room is typical in New Zealand.
A caravan as a guest room is typical in New Zealand.

Finally signs appear to tell me I’ve entered the Russell Forest.