Te Araroa Trail – Day 10

Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Distance/ Total: 26.4 km / 16.4 mi

Today started out wet again. It had rained a little over overnight and things were pretty wet still this morning. Despite the moisture I was packed up and ready to go by 6:30 am.

Lupi and I walked together this morning and the trail started out as a road walk. We had a couple of farm lands to go through today and neither of us was looking forward to it.

At about 2.5 km we reached the first turn off onto the farmlands. We crawled over the stile and began walking along a fence line along the Kerikeri River. It was a small stream and we were mostly walking along the edge of the brushline along the creek. After awhile the trail turned, dropped down toward the creek and crossed the creek just below a magnificent waterfall. We were both awestruck.

We continued down the trail traveling along the creek, crossing it a few times and enjoying the beauty of the forest.

The trail returned to a roadwalk and after several kilometers turned off once again onto farmland. This section was even more spectacular. It came to a rather deep canyon with ferns and other tropical plants lining the walls of the canyon. The trail was cut into the sides of the canyon wall and dropped down a series of steps to a magical jungle like ecosystem. I was once again awestruck at the beauty of this place nested in a canyon, completely surrounded by cow pastures.

The trail continued on along the Kerikeri River as it headed to the town with it’s name. I saw a Thai restaurant and stopped in for some lunch.

After eating the trail followed the Kerikeri River and let me in on another grand surprise – Rainbow Falls. This 27 meter high waterfall poured into a massive pool below. As Lupi and I approached the base of the falls we saw Mave jump into the pool and swim toward the falls. Due to the cold temperature of the water she soon turned back and got back into dry clothes.

We continued on another 4 kilometers to a junction to Hone Heke Lodge and arrived about 4:00pm. I checked in, showered, washed my laundry, and headed to the store for a food resupply. Back at camp I repacked my food for the next section, visited with other hikers, and finally headed off to bed about 9:45pm.

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