• Jenny

Days 108-110 Ongarue to Owhanga

Day 108 ~ Walked: 26 km ~ Start: Ōngarue ~ End: Taumarunui (km 1048)

A long hot road walk was on the agenda today so we got up in the dark with all the cyclists and away before 7am. And with 3 litres of water on board!


The countryside was quite pretty at this time,


Fence full of cobwebs

but once the sun was fully up there wasn’t much of interest. It was a day for the audio books and music.

We made a bull quite angry when we happened to stop in front of his paddock for our morning tea. We felt safe ish on our side of the fence so stayed there through his huffing and puffing and stamping. Then he turned from being angry to being excited which wasn’t so attractive.

Tauramanui got to it’s forecast high of 32 degrees so we were suffering for the last hour or so of our walk. We were excited to go past a dairy on the outskirts and sat in the shade with a treat to cool down for the final push to town.

We found a motel with a pool so was finally able to cool down properly.


Day 109 ~ Walked: 0 km ~ Start: Taumarunui ~ End: Taumarunui (km 1048)

A very busy productive and enjoyable ‘rest’ day today. It started with Alison and John taking us off for a coffee and a quick look around Taumarunui. They then very kindly left us with their car for the day which was a huge help.

We visited Taumarunui Canoe Hire (TCH) to arrange our river trip, drove to Owhanga to sort out our next nights accommodation, and drop half our stuff off so we could slackpack for a day.

Yay we don’t have to carry all this tomorrow

We shopped for our next 7 days supplies plus the 3 days for when we’re on the river and delivered that back to TCH for them to hold onto.

While in Owhanga we hunted out my grandparents old house where my Mum lived for her first five years. It still seems to be original.

I rung Nana (age 96) to check all the details and she gave me lots of other history and info about the place.

Fence of old hotel my Grandad built - looks original

We caught up with Rob and George, Whanganui trail angels who had driven a TA nobo walker up so he could canoe the river.

With rob in supermarket car park

We then returned to Alison and Johns for a delicious dinner with whitebait fritters and venison schnitzel, and lots of laughs. Such generous and fun hosts.


Day 110 ~ Walked: 26 km ~ Start: Taumarunui ~ End: Owhanga (km 1074)

Our day started with the 7am briefing at Taumarunui Canoe Hire in preparation for our river trip (in 7 days time). I hope all the dos and don’ts and photos of the hazards to look out for, stay fresh in our mind over the next week.

Another long road walk section on a quiet gravel road - perfect for audio book listening.

Always thankful for community support

Thankfully a bit of cloud cover finally, and with the breeze, kept the heat at bay. Although the temperatures reaching into the low 30s still made it hot work particularly on the big hills we had.



The main feature today was the TA famous lonely ostrich.

He follows walkers along the fence line then does his mating dance at the end. We must have been quite attractive to him as we got the dance at the start and end. We met the farmer soon after and he told us they used to farm the ostriches and then just kept one pair. Sadly the girl died some time ago and the boy is now on his own. He’s 25 years old but can live to 70-80.



I was fascinated by the wool mulch in a farmers garden,

and the layers of earth on some of the cliffs.

We made it to Owhanga just in time to get food from the Blue Hill cafe before they shut.



Day 108 ~ Walked: 26 km ~ Start: Ōngarue ~ End: Taumarunui (km 1048)




Day 110 ~ Walked: 26 km ~ Start: Taumarunui ~ End: Owhanga (km 1074)


Tauramanui to Owhanga should be the title on this one

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