Te Araroa Trail – Day 8
Monday, November 6 2023
Distance/ Total: 22.8 km / 14.2 mi
I was awoken this morning to the sounds of birds singing. I couldn’t see them, but they were sure singing loudly. I slowly got around, packed up, and headed down the trail about 7:00am.
The trail today was all road walk and shortly after starting I saw Terren off on the side of the road. He is the owner of the land we camped on last night and I told him thanks for allowing the hikers to use his property. He was working in an apple orchard and showed me the possum he had captured in his traps. He said he captures 2-3 a day and it never stops.
Back on the road I made it to Mangamuka Dairy and stopped for a coffee and a breakfast pie. Soon Kat and Lupi arrived and after a short conversation we headed down the trail.
The paved road soon turned off onto a gravel road and wound through some farmland with cattle. The road forked and began to slowly ascend upwards. Lupi was ahead of me and I caught up to him as he was eating lunch. We finished eating and headed down a short spur to see a giant Kauri tree stump – about 5 meters (15’) across.
Back on the road it was a short 5 km to the Blackbridge camp. The next campsite was 20 km further through the forest so we stopped here for the night. Jeff and Kelsey from the Netherlands were already here and we visited for awhile before other hikers began arriving.
As hikers arrived we selected tent sites and setup for the evening. Everyone gathered in the shelter and visited through the afternoon and into the evening. As the sun dropped in the sky a cold breeze started up and people slowly made their way to the tents to escape from the cool wind.