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  • Writer's pictureJenny

Days 26-27 Waikane to Plimmerton and the escarpment track

We started the day with a great brunch in Waikane. Always good to have the opportunity to break up the porridge routine. It was drizzly and grey as we headed down the Waikane river track.

Contemplating a river with a bridge

It was a great track and seemed to be on both sides of the river most of the way down to the estuary. We were both surprised how big and close Kapiti island was. We’ve always seen it when travelling down SH1 and also from the air but it seemed like there was suddenly mountains at the beach. The clouds and mist kept it shrouded all day and emphasised it’s height.

It soon heated up and turned into shorts weather.

Once we hit the beach the trail followed it all the way into Paekakariki, past ParaparaumI and Raumati. We did leave it a couple of times when the tide cut us off and to detour to a cafe for some snacks.

The beach was extremely busy on this last day of a long weekend. There were families, friends, dog walkers, crab gatherers, dippers (in wetsuits!!), photo shoots and all sorts going on. It kept it interesting all day long.

It’s definitely a west coast beach

Tonight we stayed with trail angels Sue and Mike. Sue had advised in the trail angels Facebook group that she inflicts card and board games on her guests. And I must say that was the attraction!! After an amazing dinner of fish curry, and a spectacular sunset, sure enough games were mentioned. We only had time for one game of euchre before hiker midnight (9pm).

That’s the South Island on the horizon

Day 27

We started the day with next level porridge thanks to Mike and Sue. Mike started cooking it the previous night with whole oats dates and cinnamon. Then this morning we stirred in honey, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, apples, raisins, then topped with yogurt and hemp hearts. It was so delicious and kept us going most of the day.

We headed out along Paekakariki beach and through the little village. So many people stop to ask about our trip. Most people in these parts are familiar with the trail and it’s walkers but they’re all curious why we’re passing through so much earlier than usual.

Then we headed up onto the escarpment track. The trainspotter was excited about the trains passing.

We were very lucky with our timing as the track just reopened this weekend with a diversion around a slip. The helicopter was working on the slip repair. At times it was below us.

We were a long way up and had amazing views back to Kapiti island and to the snow capped peaks of the South Island.

There were little sections of cooling bush amongst the high exposed tracks and I even managed to get some photos of live birds for a change.

It’s been a hot muggy day and I suddenly felt quite weary after doing the track. We stopped at the Pukerua Bay dairy for a snack. The TA signage people obviously knew how we were feeling at that point.

We then carried on as far as Plimmerton. We walked alongside a massive harakeke (flax) swamp which was impressive and culturally significant but it amused me that it was officially visited by the Queen in 1986. I can imagine she wouldn’t have been that excited to see ‘visit swamp’ on her agenda.

We decided we were close enough to Wellington to stay with Sophia so caught the train in. So we’ve now reunited with one daughter and one cat. We’ll slackpack the next few days from here to complete through to the end of the North Island. Thanks Sophia and Zac for looking after us.

Day 26~ Walked 20km, ~Start: Waikane ~ End: Paekakariki (km 1629)

Day 27~ Walked 18km, ~Start: Paekakariki ~ End: Plimmerton (km 1647)

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Julia Dolan
Julia Dolan
Oct 27, 2021

Wow you were very high up round the coast. Those cars looked tiny from your vantage point. And yes, the live birds make a refreshing change haha!!


Oct 27, 2021

Glad to see the chopper on the first photo was not airlifting you guys out !!

Absolutely loved the look of mike's amazing porridge - what's a hemp heart ???

Amused by your flax swamp story too. A more relaxing couple of days ahead I hope.

Oct 27, 2021
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I was looking at the elevation of the track after I posted that and saw that the swamp was actually about 50metres below sea level. I guess that’s why it’s a swamp.

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