- Arduous, Unrelenting, Challenging
- Tramping Herekino Forest, Raetea Forest, Omahuta Forest, Pukatea Ridge Track to Puketi Forest over five days was demanding in terrain, in attention to each footstep and in condition.
Kilometres of climbing and descending summits, kilometres of tramping (slippery and sucking at your boots) muddy trails, kilometres of clambering up and over treacherous tree roots, was taxing. Kilometres of sweat running down faces and backs. But, at each day’s end we were triumphant in spirit and in achievement. We were also very grateful that rain was not a constant. The trail condition would have been so much more treacherous.
The beauty and serenity of the bush, the massive kauri trees, enjoying countless crossings of Mangapukahukahu Stream, sometimes up past the knees, the warbling of the grey warbler and other birds, when the going got tougher, were rewards. Free camping alongside the river, washing, bathing, swimming and the peacefulness of the remote setting were back to basic reminders of a simple life. Hospitality for two nights at William and Lisa McNabb’s Homestay at Diggers Valley was an absolute treat in comfort, good food and learning a little about Maori culture and sampling William’s wonderful organic homemade beer.
Reaching Kerikeri 220kms from Cape Reinga was such a good feeling . A shower was amazing, so too Claudio’s request of fish and chips and beer in celebration. Goodbye to Claudio who will continue the trail while we head to Hamilton for Christmas with my beautiful sister Trudie and her husband John in their wonderful and relaxing home in Hamilton. Joining us are our Canadian friends Donna and Duane Ehrmantraut who have been comfortably travelling the North Island by car! 😃😜
Maori carving to assuage the spirits – Herekino Forest
Look how clean we are at the start!
Mud glorious mud
Who has the grubbier boot?
Abseiling this bank!
Diggers Valley Homestay
Afternoon nibbles await
Two Kiwi girls – Nancy & beautiful Lisa
Dinner with good food & converSATION
William’s RO boutique beer label
Raetea Forest Track – Claudio & Nancy
Beautiful views from Raetea Summit 744 metres
A rest after the tough getting tougher
Rangiora leaves – underside velvety and called the ‘bushman’s friend’!
Descending from Raetea towards Mangimuka Bridge
Free camping for trampers in a peaceful riverside setting
Wearing Trevor Water’s bandana! Useful for trekking dusty logging roads
What is worst than mud? Dust…clouds of dust from the logging trucks
The dust is awful but the considerate logging truckies slow down when they see us to reduce the dust clouds.
Tramping Omahuta is easier!
The joy of a beautiful but cold pool
Free camping alongside the river after leaving Omahuta Forest
The drying tree
Dinner prep. Claudio & John
Our secluded spot…made extra comfortable with dried punga fronts
Fording the Mangapukahukahu Stream
Safer down stream crossing of the Waipapa River
Prior tackling the very rough and challenging Pukatea Ridge Track
Pukatea Track Ridge also lined with traps for possum, stoats, weasles, rats & pests of native wildlife
Beautiful young kauri
Yah! 200km walked. 1500km to go to Wellington
Aha…the orange markers have changed. Fooled us. Spent a while looking for this marker.
The locals in a standout! Young inquisitive bulls. Glad a fence separated us. Enroute to Keriikeri alongside the Kerikeri River
Rainbow falls at Kerikeri
The not so clean ‘out of the comfort zone’ but happy to have made it this far, trampers.