Te Araroa Trail – Day 61
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Distance/ Total: 21.1 km / 13.1 mi
I woke up to the sound of a light rain this morning and had to pack up the tent wet again. Claudio and I were up and on the trail about 7:30. It was going to be a pretty quick day and all downhill to Mangapurua Landing.
The trail was in pretty good shape with just a few muddy spots and some narrow sections along some cliff faces. There were a few views down the valley and several signs showing the challenges of the early settlers in the area.
We reached the Bridge to Nowhere about 12:30 and met up with the tour group. They provided cookies and coffee or tea and gave a short talk about the history of the area and the hardships the settlers had (and why they all eventually left).
After the talk everyone returned to the jet boat and Claudio and I were squeezed onto one of the boats for the 32km trip down to Pipiriki. It was about an hour long ride and when we got to Pipiriki we were able to find someone willing to give us a ride into Whanganui.
We had plans to stay at the holiday park, but they were booked up so we found a motel in town and took a bus to get us there.
We checked in, hung our tents out to dry in the yard, and showered. The motel didn’t have a guest laundry but offered to wash our clothes in the morning if we wanted.
We walked into the Central Business District (CBD) and ate pizza at Hell’s Pizza. It was pretty good for New Zealand.
We looked at the plan for tomorrow and realized we had a tidal river to cross at the end of our day and needed to cross near low tide. Low tide was 11pm Thursday so we planned for a late start and would try to cross about 9:00 to 9:30pm.