In the bush, without George

The 12th of November 2017

Another day off at Haruru Falls. We decided to hike to Paihia, through the mangrove, just to see how Marie-Laure's ankle is doing. It's an easy day with 7 km only, between the forests and the see. 

We also board on a boat to see dolphins. We are feeling like children as we look at them, so excited at the sight of these dolphins playing so close to our boat.

We still have some time to visit the small town of Russell, full of history. There, we go to the small supermarket, and we meet Sheryl. She works there, and immediately asks us if we are Te Araroa hikers. She's a trail angel (people taking care of the hikers) and she invites us to camp at her house tomorrow, in Waikare. Great!
It's also our second and last day at Kristel's family place. It was such a great chance to meet them. One of the best experiences that a long trail offers  is probably the occasions it offers to meet the people.

The 13th of November 2017
Kristel drops us at Paihia. After some shopping at the pharmacy, we start walking again. I'm so happy to be hiking! I was missing it so much... We make a short stop at a backpackers hostel where some TA (Te Araroa) friends are staying, just to say them hi.
This is a nice day, the weather is fine and the track is quite easy. We follow the seashore for a while, till Opua, where we have to cross the water by ferry. That's amazing to hear the birds and to see so many of them.

We then have to hike on the road /hitchhike till Waikare. That's on the gravel road that we see our first (dead) possum.
We find Sheryl's place quite easily and meet her partner, Peter. He is very kind and makes us some tea, offers eggs, and proposes that we stay in the caravan instead of pitching our tent. Deal!
Sheryl comes back quite late from work, but we keep talking with Peter and her. They are very nice people, living with basic facilities, but ready to share it with us and so welcoming.

The 14th of November 2017
The day starts nicely. Sheryl shows us the Tea Tree, a wonderful tree that has many great qualities, like being hated by sandflies and mosquitoes.

We meet Kelvin that woke up early this morning and made his way from Paihia. We are so happy to hike with him again. He invites us to spend Christmas with his family, and we don't hesitate even a minute before accepting.
The forest is gorgeous and we follow a stream that we keep crossing all the time. At a certain point, we're not crossing it anymore, because we're walking in it. That's a perfect cooling for Marie-Laure's ankle.

After this long day of hiking, we're lucky to meet Jock. He offers a bed to Kelvin and us, makes us a tea, proposes that we take a shower in his house. When other hikers that we know phone Kelvin and ask us if we know a place to stay, Jock accepts to host 5 more people in his place! Even the "bloody froggies" (understand "the French girls") are welcome to stay. He says "bloody" 10 times in a sentence and has plenty of stories to tell. We have a wonderful time with him!

The 15th of November 2017
Another day in the bush,that starts with the beautiful sight of a wild pig and 5 "suckers" (the babies).
The birds are amazing. One is singing like a Spanish. We are still trying to identify the name of the wonderful singer that made us laughing so much. 
The path goes up and down, with some great sights. We hike 13 km only and reach Whananaki (pronounce Fananaki) in the middle of the afternoon. We stay there, like Inès, a French girl, Noam (an Israeli guy) and Wayne & Jane, 2 kiwis. 

The 16th of November 2017
We planned to reach Matapouri today, and stay there. But the path was so nice and easy that we arrive there at lunch time. The Lovebirds (a couple of Finnish - South African that are on honeymoon) are already there, eating a fish and chips in front of the small shop.
We decide to have a fish and chips as well, and then to continue our way till Ngunguru. We camp in the garden of Hilton and Melva. They are fond of Te Araroa and are trail angels as well. Tomorrow, Hilton can drop us in Whangarei, a bigger city 30km far from here, where we'll be able to resupply. Our hiking friends already crossed the estuary, so we won't see them tonight...

What a trail... What an ambiance... With the other trampers but also with the local people. So much kindness everywhere! We feel humbled by the generosity of everyone day after day. 


  1. Merci les filles, avec vos photos et autres racontars ;-) on est vraiment (presque) avec vous !!!!

  2. Merci pour ce beau récit, ces belles photos ces belles rencontres que vous faites au fil du chemin inspirent de bonnes thé good mood!

    1. Encore de belles rencontres à vous raconter dans les prochains articles !


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