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Gerards blog Mercer to Taumarunui

We left Mercer, tracked thru the swamp which wasn’t well marked and ended up staying at the Rangiriri pub, which was a very nice place to dine and rehydrate. Beer on tap was a choice of Lion Red or Brown, Waikato plus two others. Those choices took me back to my twenties when they were the brew of choice for many.

Rest day in Hamilton once we arrived with time to get my Covid booster shot an a hair cut. Hair cut is quite a bit shorter this time.

Stayed in Pahautea hut on Mt Pironga at 920m above sea level which had great views out to the West coast and included Kawhia harbour.

Walk into Waitomo was a long day with 32ks traveled. At one moment we lost the track and walked around for about 10-15 minutes doing some bush whacking and found our track again. At one stage we asked each other what direction we came from and we both pointed in opposite directions. I had a brief thought is this our lost moment, because when you looked around you could see tracks leading in every direction and the bush around all looked the same.

But no we pulled thru, thanks to Jenny and will save the helicopter ride for another time.

Meet grumps at Te Kuiti for lunch and another supply box of food to get us to Taumaranui.

Walked the timber trail over 4 very hot days with a mix of hut, proper bed an our tent.

Stayed at Camp Epic at the halfway point, what a great place to spend the night.

Walking thru the timber trail area gives you time to read the display boards along the way and because a portion follows the old tram line track, take in the effort they went thru to provide access so the logs could be felled and removed.

This area is about 500m above sea level so with the clear sky days we had during our journey the nights were bloody cold.

Just to show you we do use our tent and rough it. No beer on tap at this camp spot.

We made it to Taumarunui and included a rest day. Although we don’t walk these days we do restock for food and plan our next legs, which will be through to Wanganui.

We caught up with John an Alison Tito who cooked an amazing dinner of whitebait fritters, venison and rubarb crumble to top it all off. Bloody big thanks to you both and for the use of the Ute.

We walked for 15 days this time and covered 348km

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