Te Araroa Trail – Day 37
Saturday, December 9, 2023
Distance/ Total: 27.3 km / 17.0 mi
My first nights sleep in a Department of Conservation (DOC) hut was not as good as I’d hoped for. The mattress was too soft and I sank through it and was laying on the plywood floor of the bunk. It was nice being indoors, but the beds could be better.
I was up and on the trail by 6:45. The trail started out from the hut as a boardwalk and descended into a saddle and back up to the peak of Mt Hihikiwi – a total of 0.8 km (0.5 mi). The views from the peak were great and I was able to get a good picture of the hut I stayed in.
The peak was the end of the boardwalk and the remaining 4.7 km to the trailhead was a tramping track – tree roots, rocks, and a lot of mud. It took me about 3.5 hours to reach the trailhead as I tramped through the mud. There was a stream at the trailhead and I was able to wash the mud off before beginning the road walk.
The roadwalk was 17 km of mostly gravel road with about 3 km of paved road in the middle. I was able to make good time on the roadwalk, but my feet were killing me by the end.
The trail turned of the road onto an overgrown track through farm field and onto old logging roads through the bush. The trail started getting a little muddy but I was able to get around most of it.
I eventually came to a stream running across the road and stopped to fill up my water bottles for a dry camp tonight. After filling the bottles I started looking for a place to camp. About 0.5 km down the trail I found a nice flat spot in the trees and set up my tent for the night.