Day 29; Whananaki – Ngunguru

8 hours.

We woke up this morning reasonably early for a big day ahead. We had a delicious breakfast muffin and coffee at the store cafe then packed up our things and were on our way.

As we left the campsite the trail starts with crossing the longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere at 395m long. Very cool. After crossing the bridge we had already knocked off half a km 🙂

At the other side is the beginning of the Whananaki Coastal Track and we continued along the estuary and along a gravel road to where a lovely road sized grass track began at the end of the bay. The track meandered up and down along the coast with stunner views all the way through to where it emerged just prior to Wooleys Bay. We found this cool little Cuban cafe here where we bought a coke and continued through along the roadside by the bays to Matapouri.

At Matapouri we stopped for lunch (fish n chips & a beer), and had a wee break for an hour.

After lunch we headed up Clements Road to the Matapouri Bush Track which would take us through to Ngunguru. The track was an easy gradient through bush, pastures, and pine before a tough wee up and down in the middle after which it opened up to a forestry road track. Along the track was a giant kauri ‘Tane Moana’ which we stopped to look at. The large kauris have been amazing. We have seen a lot in Northland and they have an amazing presence.

We soon emerged (after passing a flying pig a few metres ahead of us with a death wish who sprang out of the bush on one side, across the road to the bush on the other side which appeared to drop off like a bank at lightening bolt speed – I think if we blinked we may have missed him) past a house and down onto the road into Ngunguru.

It was a 40 minute wander from here to our accomodation at the motor lodge where we checked in a little weary before racing for a fish burger before the takeaway closed. Mission accomplished – fish burger acquired!

Sign for the footbridge.
Whananaki footbridge.
Road up along the bay on the Whananaki Coastal Track.
Trees along the bay side.
One of the little bays along the Whananaki Coastal Track.
Whananaki Coastal Track.
Little Cuban cafe just after the Whananaki Coastal Track.
Entering the Matapouri Bush Track through to Ngunguru.
Through the Matapouri Bush Track.
First views out towards Ngunguru.

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