• Jenny

Days 82-84 Ruakaka to Pakiri

Day 82 ~ Walked: 16 km, ~ Start: Ruakaka ~ End: waipu cove (km 425)

I woke up feeling quite rejuvenated after the tough hot long day previously. We set off early again to avoid as much heat as possible. It was a pretty short uneventful walking day which was welcome.

It started off along the long white sandy beach where all the locals and campers were out for their morning exercise and dog walking.

About half way through the days kms we then headed inland - again to avoid crossing a river mouth. The roads were pleasant enough and not too busy.


Pretty roadside flower stall

We stopped whenever we found shade to rest a minute or two, to avoid any overheating issues.

Resting in the shade even on the busy corner of road to the dump

Before long we reached Waipu that was a bustling little village with a few cafes.

And a Scottish heritage apparently

So we took advantage and had an early lunch. I’ve had cravings for chocolate milk and it’s now my go-to at every opportunity. Today was a satisfying iced chocolate, but I’m equally happy with a chocolate milkshake or ready made chocolate milk from dairy’s. We hung around long enough to order two rounds of food and drink at the cafe.

As we were leaving Waipu for Waipu Cove a fellow TA walker, Hazel spotted us and called out. She’d been section walking and was on her way home but said Murray was up ahead of us. Sure enough we caught up to him when he was taking a shade break.

We made it to the camp at Waipu cove at a comfortable 2pm. They had no spare campsites - hard to believe, as we take up hardly any room. But they could sell us a bunk room for twice the price. That was still a better option than hunting out a spot in the bush with lack of water being a very real issue. I love days like this where there’s time to soak up the surroundings and relax. A perfect spot for this too - beach front and the lifeguard tower only 100m from our room. First up was a refreshing swim.

Waipu Cove also had a very nice restaurant that we were lucky enough to get a table at for dinner. Almost a whole day of food not from our pack!!


Dinner with Murray

Day 83 ~ Walked: 26 km, ~ Start: waipu cove ~ End: Mangawhai Heads (km 451)

A quick last look at the beach before heading inland for the day.


We enjoyed the Langsview track as a change from the road and beach walking, and for the coolness of the bush. The cloud cover was also welcome.




It was opportune that the main hill climb for the day was first up. We had great views from where we’d come, and the Hen and Chickens islands.

There was a nice grassy spot in the shade of an olive grove where we had lunch.

Unfortunately after coming off the track just after lunch we took a wrong turn. We didn’t realise until after negotiating a couple of km of narrow windy road walking. Instead of returning we decided to carry on as there was an upcoming road that connected back to the correct route. Disappointingly it was a private gated access road so we continued on to the next one which unfortunately was also gated. By this stage we were getting pretty close to Mangawhai Heads so ended up road walking all the way in. The km we did were about the same, but we were gutted to have missed the cliff top walkway, and have unnecessary extra road walking.

We were sitting in the shade enjoying the estuary view when Cass and Aleisha walked past.

We’d last met them both in the Puketi forest where they’d each been walking with others. Of the six we’d met in Puketi they’re the only ones remaining on trail. It’s always good to compare notes with others on what’s happened on the way and what the upcoming plans are. We’d also compared notes with Graham who we crossed paths with on the Langsview track - a nobo walker.

We stayed with our lovely trail angels Dale Craig and Rosa in Mangawhai Heads. It felt like a luxury retreat.

Dale had everything available for me I could want, from beautiful body products, soft lush towels, to hair dryer and straighteners. After a lovely home cooked dinner they gave us a tour around the village including an ocean beach walk to see a bit of what we may have missed from our navigational mishap. I was pretty happy with that for the photos I got.






Day 84 ~ Walked: 25 km, ~ Start: Mangawhai Heads ~ End: Pakiri (km 476)

It was sad to leave our very generous hosts and their offer of having a rest day with them was very tempting.

Today was another beach walking day but with a difference as it was drizzly and windy although a comfortable temperature. The drizzle was very light, but after an hour or two we were wet through.


Halfway along the beach was Te Arai beach where the surf school was in full swing.

We then left the beach briefly to get over the point.


Todays high tide was at midday which was not ideal. We were walking in the soft sand above the high tide mark most of the day which was quite tiring. The other factor were three streams spaced out over the length of the beach that needed crossing. We weren’t sure which one we should prioritise for a slightly lower tide level. When the first one was only a few cm high all concerns evaporated. We arrived at the second one right on high tide and it got to waist deep on crossing. It felt very safe though and was as warm as bath water. The final one was at the end and was more of an estuary and much wider but only got to hip deep.

Pakiri camp over the estuary

Estuary at our crossing point

The birds on the beach kept us entertained most of the way. There were a lot of stilts, terns, oystercatchers, and dotterels. There were a few little chicks and the parents were very anxious to distract us or scare us away with their squawking and antics.


On reaching the Pakiri campground we chose to upgrade our tent site to a cabin seeing as they had one spare and to make it easier to dry our stuff out.


We are now officially in the Auckland region. A cool feeling to have ticked off another whole region. We’ll definitely holiday in Northland in the future. There’s so many beautiful spots up here and so much more to explore.


Day 82 ~ Walked: 16 km, ~ Start: Ruakaka ~ End: waipu cove (km 425)


Day 83 ~ Walked: 26 km, ~ Start: waipu cove ~ End: Mangawhai Heads (km 451)


Day 84 ~ Walked: 25 km, ~ Start: Mangawhai Heads ~ End: Pakiri (km 476)





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