Why walking 44km when you could hike 25?

Monday 11th December 2017 
When we woke up, the rain welcomed us. Val came to catch us and dropped us off at the start of the trail. We're ready to walk 84 km in the next 4 days. We know that it's an easy trail, because it's tailored for bicycles.
We start walking around 12 noon, under the rain. Rain is a good friend, that tends to stick to you when it catches you. Very good, we're not impressed, there's a hut where we can stay tonight, no need to pitch the tent.
A typical Maori statue at the entrance of the forest 
To reach the hut, we need to take a sidewalk. The nice path turns into a muddy one and it rains twice as hard. Lucky us! Worse than that, when we reach the hut, the 4 bunk beds are already occupied... But... These 4 people are TA hikers and we know them. Two of them are a couple. We call them the Lovebirds (name found by our friend Kelvin) because they are on their honeymoon travel. And the lovely lovebirds offer us to give us one of their 2 mattresses.
That's really a beautiful gesture, that we appreciate. Thanks to them, we spend a good night on a nice mattress.

Tuesday 12th December 2017
The sun is back and the hiking day is short. We cross the first suspended bridges... And we really like it. By 12:30, we reach Piropiro campground, where the others are already eating their lunch.
While the other decide to hike further, we choose to stay there and enjoy an afternoon of reading and stretching under the shelter that protects us from the sun.
At the end of the day, we see other TA hikers reaching the campsite. We end up being 11 and have a great evening talking with the people, some that we already know and some other that we meet.

Wednesday 13th December 2017
Third day on this easy and relaxing trail.
We spent some time talking with other walkers while hiking thanks to the wide path. After some more bridges and 25 km, we reach the campsite where we're supposed to spend the night. The water from the nearby stream is a little stinky and the place not so attractive.

We decide to carry on. And here we are, hiking 19 more, just to reach a nicer camping. Around 7, we are at Bennett road. We did it, 44km in a day. We're a little surprised to see that it is possible. Before the sunset, the 11 of yesterday are at the campground and we share another evening together.

Thursday 14th December 2017 
Only a few kilometers and we get a lift to Taumarunui. There, we go to the visitor center and they help us booking campsites and canoes for our next challenge : 7 days canoeing on Whanganui river, between Taumarunui and Whanganui.
They also help us to solve a logistical problem : we were supposed to go first to Tongariro crossing and our hiking maps are waiting for us at an hotel after the crossing. But we changed our program and decided to go immediately on the river. We want to hike more than 1 day in Tongariro and we'll come back for that in April, when it will be less crowded. So, we need to fin a way to get the maps. Solved thanks to the people of the tourist office! Thanks guys!
We stay for the night at the Holiday Park. The owner are awesome, they are trail angels and help us for everything we need. Great place to stay!
I book an appointment to the physio for my left shoulder that is a bit painful, we go for resupply and then, we just chill on the terrace of our lovely cabin.
Big resupply, because the canoe will carry the weight for us

Tomorrow, we'll have a rest day. And day after tomorrow, we'll be on the river. We're really impatient to paddle! And the big advantage is that we can carry plenty of vegetables and fruits and other healthy heavy food : the canoe will carry the weight for us 💜. 


  1. Hi Belgian Travellers, I'm Mathea and I lurk on the TA site and also your blog (because I love it). I'm in the South Island, on the Queen Charlotte Track and hope to see you when you get here (at least for a cup of tea). We also have Airbnb accommodation... happy to tell you more if you are interested. About the Whanganui journey - if you haven't already started, then enjoy! I have done the trip to Pipiriki six times and every time has been great fun - it really is a Great Journey. Don't worry about falling out, as long as all your barrels are tied on well. Expect to get wet! Before Pipiriki is the biggest rapid, called Te Ao (the God). It's great fun - just paddle faster than the water is travelling and you'll stay in control. Beyond Pipiriki I hear the journey is a slog - hard work if the wind and the tide is against you.

    1. Hi Mathea, thanks for your message, we'll be happy to meet you on the trail when we pass by. It should be around mid or end January. Do not hesitate to send us your Airbnb infos as well. Our NZ phone number is 0211953368.
      We arrived this afternoon in Whanganui and followed your recommendations for the rapid. We didn't fall in the river, at least not there 😉.
      Looking forward to meeting you!

    2. Hi gals, I've sent you an email (let me know if you don't get it). If you do decide to stay, and you have your father with you, and there is availability on the airbnb site, then we can accommodate an extra person easily.

    3. Hi Mathea, we didn't get your email, which email did you use? Otherwise, send me a text message and I'll send you my email address


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