Te Araroa Trail – Day 1

Monday, October 30, 2023
Distance Today/ Total: 20.6 km/ 12.8mi

Despite the continued rain I decided to head out on the trail today. The rain is supposed to start moving out tomorrow morning and I’ll be road walking most of today anyway.

Ron shuttled 4 of us put to the lighthouse this morning and we arrived there about 11:15. There was some damage to the area from Cyclone Gabrielle in February of 2023. The lighthouse had a construction fence around it and the first 20 km of the Te Araroa has been closed due to landslides. Wanting to hike from tip-to-tip I opted to walk the road from Cape Reinga to Te Paki Stream where I could rejoin the TA on the beach.

The rain was on and off throughout the day. I was able to get a few photos but it was raining a lot of the time. As I walked south on highway 1 the rain and wind were blowing right into my face. It did stop a couple of times and I was able to eat lunch eurozone of the lulls in the weather.

The roadwalk wasn’t too bad since there were very few cars headed out to the lighthouse today (I wonder why). I reached Te Pali Stream road in 16km and turned onto the dirt road running to the stream and the giant sand dunes.

When I reached the stream and saw the water flow I was somewhat concerned because I thought I was going to have to walk the stream the 3 km down to the ocean. it turned out there was a rough trail alongside the stream.

About 1/2 way to the beach I noticed that the water was beginning to rise very rapidly and I could see waves several inches high pushing their way downstream. The trail tan close to the stream and as the water began to rise some sections of the trail we’re getting covered in waters.

I was getting a little nervous and picked up my pace so I could make it to the beach before the water rose too high. I made it to the beach with no incident but the water was getting very close to the trail.

I reached the beach about 5:20 and decided to walk down the beach a little ways to look for a campsite up behind the dunes. I found a place close to the stream to get over the dunes and searched for a flat, levelish spot. I found a small spot and squeezed my tent in as the rain started up once again.

Once inside my tent I cooked dinner, cleaned up and updated my blog. The rain has picked up as the evening progressed and it’s raining pretty hard as I type this up. I’m a little concerned about my stakes holding up in the wind since they are just in sand.

I had a little plantar Fasciitis pain in my left foot today so I’m going to stretch and massage it good tonight. I hope I can keep if from flaring up again.

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