Te Araroa Trail – Day 18
Thursday, November 16, 2023
Distance/ Total: 25.2 km / 15.7 mi
Today was another split day due to the availability of our water taxi. I woke up about 6:00am, but didn’t get started on the trail until about 7:30.
The trail started out with a long steep climb up bream head, a mountain at the end of the beach we hiked yesterday. It was a pretty good trail for the most part but took some time to get to the top at 476m (1562ft). I took a few minutes rest at the top before continuing on into a saddle and back up to a second peak – Mt. Lion. Once again I took a short rest at the peak before heading down.
The descent was extremely steep, but had a series of stairs built down the mountain. It was a long way back down. The trail opened up o to a grassy saddle between Smugglers Bay and Urquharts Bay. It led down the saddle to Urquharts Bay where I found a picnic table and ate my lunch.
Back to the trail it was now a road walk around the bay and the road followed the edge of the bay for most of the walk. The last 2 km it passed through a neighborhood and through a nice walkway skirting around Mt. Aubrey.
I reached Reotahi Bay about 2:30 and our water taxi was scheduled for 3:30. Finding a nearby shade tree I sat down and took a short rest while waiting.
The water taxi was a short 5 minute ride across the bay and the 7 hikers I had been hiking with started our 6 km walk down the beach to Ruakaka. We reached the 400km point of the Te Araroa on the beach and took a picture to commemorate.
We then left the beach and walked into town to get a food resupply, some dinner, and then walk the remaining 4 km to the Holiday Park we camped at.