Day 17; Raetea Peak – Mangamuka Bridge

7 hours.

This morning we packed up camp at the crack of dawn as we had a big day ahead of us (with beer at the end).

The first slog between Raetea Peak and the 727m peak was real hard work. My most un-favourite section so far, it was slow going through the dense bush and undulations.

From here although still a fair way it was all downhill, still bashing through for a while we finally find ourselves on a quad bike sized track- thank goodness! I think this was the Raetea trying for my forgiveness for the last stretch.

The quad track continued and finally emerged a few hours later at the top of farmland and then we followed markers down and over the farmland to the road. The track took you literally past (basically through) the farmhouse area where we were greeted by about 6 dogs. Harmless albeit noisey!

From here it was a bit of a road walk through to the Mangamuka Bridge Store. Mmmm beverages and toasties!! Neil drank 3 litres of milk. Omg. Lol.

We rang the Horeke Tavern people to let them know we were ready for pick up. Whilst waiting we had a yarn to a local lady about Northland, it was nice to chat to her. After waiting an hour a young local man offered us a ride through to Horeke. Turns out he knew the tavern guy and we contacted him to say we had a ride.

The ride out to Horeke was great. The young man who took us out filled us in on heaps of history and stuff. He worked at the Mangamuka Bridge area on local radio. Very cool! He gave us some stickers from his radio station.

Out at Horeke the Tavern location was stunner! Kind of an off the beaten track old school place where not too much happens. There is a cycle ride that comes by here though and the place has a massive history. Located at the very head of the Hokianga Harbour, NZ’s first ship building yards were here. This was an amazing spot with a good room, a bath, beer, and a good feed. No complaints whatsoever đŸ™‚

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Finally the track opens up for us coming downhill beyond the 727m peak.
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Emerging onto farmland.
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Ice cold beer outside the Horeke Tavern, looking out over the Hokianga Harbour.
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Our room at the Horeke Tavern.
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Tautoko FM radio stickers.
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Private bar area and lounge at Horeke Tavern.
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Looking back at the Horeke Tavern from the pier.
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