Day 20; Puketi Forest HQ Campsite – Kerikeri

7 hours.

Setting off this morning I was quite excited. This section is meant to be quite good and I’ve been looking forward to seeing Kerikeri again, I haven’t been here since I was a kid. I know it’s a beautiful place, and one I’ll appreciate even more as an adult.

The first hour was along a gravel road to the start of the Kerikeri Track which takes you over private farmland, along a little more gravel road, and then back onto farmland again over a hill where we get our first views out to the Bay of Islands coastline. Stunner.

The track then follows a stream out to the main highway where we stopped and bought 4 packets of blueberries from a roadside stall which we inhaled quite quickly. Had a nice hot camp cooker mocha here too.

We then set off for the last stretch along the Kerikeri River into the township. The trail was gorgeous here (after jumping the first few electric fences), taking us behind homes along the riverbank. Eventually we spot an ice cream sign outside a toy museum / mini golf course in our peripheral so we beeline for refreshments.

3 fizzys, 2 ice creams and 3 waters later we hit the final stretch past Rainbow Falls and into the township where we stayed at the campground.

We had a lovely dinner down the road at the Black Olive Restaurant. Great pizzas – I would know – I ate a whole one (inclusive of midnight snack).

Beginning of Kerikeri Track.
First farmland section of the Kerikeri Track.
First view out over the Bay of Islands coastline. Cape Brett on the horizon.
Te Araroa’s first swing bridge.
Geese action on the Kerikeri River.
Lighthouse office at a little motor camp we passed by.
Rainbow Falls on the Kerikeri River.
Kerikeri River Track.

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