Te Araroa Trail – Day 6
Saturday, November 4, 2023
Distance/ Total: 21.1 km / 13.1 mi
I was up fairly early at the hostel this morning, packed up my gear and charged up my charging block. I called my parents while charging the phone and it was good talking to them 1/2 way around the world.
I hit the trail about 7:30am. The trail started on the other side of town so I walked the main business street through town looking for somewhere to get a coffee and some breakfast. Unfortunately things in Kaitaia seem to start a little later and nothing was open yet.
The first 6 I’m out of town was a roadwalk down highway 1. The traffic was fairly light and the shoulder was pretty steep in places. As I was walking the road Lupi caught up and passed me. Turning onto Ruaroa Roadit immediately became a gravel road. After about 6 more km the trail turned off and joined a paved road for awhile.
The Takahue Community Center has a large covered porch and hikers were gathering underneath to escape the sun. I joined them and ate my lunch in the cool shade.
Back on the road I walked along with Lupi and we ended up reaching Saddle Road Camp about 2:00. It was a little early to stop, but the next section was 16 km through the Mangamuka track with no water and very limited camping available.
We opted to stay at the Saddle Rd camp and start off early in the morning with full water bottles and plenty of sunlight to complete the potentially muddy and slick Mangamuka Teack.
Many other TA hikers arrived through the afternoon and some continued onwards, but most stopped and stayed at the camp. We had a good evening getting to know each other and visiting about the trail and other hiking experiences.