Today we headed off back to the Orewa Bridge where we picked up the trail again. It took us along the estuary side on a nice path through to Silverdale.
We passed through Silverdale and continued roadside along the highway a few km’s to the turn off for Stillwater. The roadside walk down to Stillwater was really nice and we arrived at the Stillwater Boat Club at 3pm. An hour before they opened.
We sat on the picnic tables here and brewed a coffee while admiring what an amazing little spot this was. We were set to go through to Browns Bay today but given the cracker spot I was determined to find a way to stay here.
Across the estuary was a little campsite which I did know about but was as far as I was aware a private NZMCA motor camp. I found the number online and rang anyway just to try our luck at putting up a tent.
Success! In fact – the guy who owns the place allows Te Araroa hikers to stay free and even offered us a spot in the hall. How amazing!! Well, with this sorted we cancelled our Browns Bay accomodation and took our gear over to the campsite where we were made right at home.
After settling in we headed back to the boat club where we signed in as visitors and enjoyed a lovely meal and a few brews. Everyone here was so friendly and we chatted to them all. We even thought we may stay a few nights extra here to stay for the rafting event on the Sunday but on the way home we decided to continue on.