Day 66; Mid Wairoa Track – Lower Mangatawhiri Campground

5.5 hours.

We awoke this morning in our little grassey clearing encased in our sleeping bags and packed up to set off. It took us another two hours on the Wairoa Cossey Track till we emerged at the Wairoa Dam.

We stopped breifly here then continued up the hill to the Repeater Campsite where we stopped for water and lunch. It was a great wee spot with an open shelter with bunks and a table inside. Rainwater tank and toilet also.

After lunch it was a big descent into the valley below where there was another campsite, Upper Mangatawhiri, but it was occupied by a bunch of kids so we continued on to the Lower Mangatawhiri Campsite.

It was a good easy walk and the campsite was lovely. All to ourselves we pitched our tent and made ourselves at home for the night.

Wairoa Dam.
Wairoa Dam from the viewpoint.
Track to the Repeater Campsite.
Repeater Campsite.
Heading towards Lower Mangatawhiri Campsite.
Lower Mangatawhiri Campsite.

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Day 65; Clevedon – Mid Wairoa Cosseys Track

6 hours.

Today we set off with the trail taking us along the road heading out of Clevedon. En route we had a bit of a yarn to a guy who lives on the trail, he was a top guy and even gave me a water bladder as mine was broken.

Eventually the road came to a dead end alongside a river and we continued on a lovely wee track that followed the riverside.

The track popped us out at the Hunua Ranges Regional Park. We stopped here at the falls area for some water and a lunch break then headed back to the Wairoa Cosseys Track to get hopefully to a clearing halfway where we could camp.

After a trudge uphill we made it to the mid-point of the track where there was a small clearing. It was a cracker night so we didn’t even pitch the the tent. We blew up our sleeping mats and slept under the stars πŸ™‚

Road heading out of Clevedon.
Donkey action.
Riverside trail
Heading into Hunua Ranges Regional Park.
Hunua Falls.
Wairoa Cosseys Track.

Day 64; Zero Day @ Clevedon

WhenΒ we woke up this morning we just wanted to sleep in and chill so we went to see if there was availability for one more night. There was πŸ™‚ Excellent.

We popped down the road for brunch and did our resupply for the stretch ahead. When we came back we did much the same as yesterday and chilled in the bar.

Turns out Monday night is all you can eat pizza night so we dug in to that – bit of calorie loading for the stretch ahead. We retired not long after this, we’ll feed, happy hikers πŸ™‚

The Clevedon Hotel.

Β 

Day 63; Zero Day @ Clevedon

Today we chilled out at the pub taking a day off and did some blogging and what not. It was Saturday and there was a band playing at the garden bar so we spent a bit of time out there. I quite liked the band – kiwi duo doing covers – very good stuff πŸ™‚

We stayed in the hotel rooms tonight for a bit of extra comfort. Also, after a super relaxing day in the bar we treated ourselves to another cracker burger! Yum!!

Chilling out listening to some sweet tunes at the Clevedon Hotel.

Β 

Day 62; Manukau – Clevedon

6.5 hours.

Leaving Manakau campground this morning we were a bit weary from the lack of sleep at the campground. It was pretty noisey with a bunch of drunken revellers distressing the other inhabitants and circling helicopters. Nevermind. Off we went as usual – tough Te Araroa hikers we are :p

First part of the day took us through the Auckland Botanical Gardens and we detoured off to the cafe here for breakfast. The gardens were nice and the track emerged from them through Totara Park which was a cool spot too with plenty of park space and a pool and everything. There were heaps of people here enjoying the place which was cool to see.

Next the trail took us along the roadside heading out of Auckland finally! We passed a school enroute where we stopped for a bit of a coffee break.

After our break the trail headed off towards the hills to the Kimptons Track. The track climbed steeply to the top where there was a seat beside the beacon at the top with great views. The track downwards was good with many steps and brought us out over a bridge into a scout park in Clevedon. It was only a short walk from here to the Clevedon Hotel where we were booked in to camp out back in our tent.

They showed us out back to our little camping spot and we set up for the night before heading in to the restaurant for a beer and burger. The burgers here were delicious. During dinner we could hear the performance of a Tina Turner singer (a guy even). He was quite good lol. We retired to the tent soon after and listened to the music pumping out until we fell asleep.

Passing through Auckland Botanical Gardens.
Through to Totara Park.
Finally leaving Auckland.
Roadwalk towards the hills.
Heading up Kimptons Track.
View from part way up Kimptons Track.
Through forest on Kimptons Track.
At the top of Kimptons Track.
Swingbridge at the exit of Kimptons Track.
Camping out back at the pub.

Day 61; Ambury Regional Park – Manukau

6 hours.

We packed up our tent and headed off for the trail again for a 10am start. The trail took us along the waterside again around past some old stone fields, then to the Auckland International Airport. We stopped here and had sushi for lunch.

After a good little sushi refuel we headed off again through the airport area and off towards Manukau. Just past the airport was a lookout where we had another wee break for a bit of plane spotting πŸ™‚

The trail continued roadside for a while before cutting through parkland through to Manukau and a last stretch of streets and back paths through to Manukau campground where we stayed in a cabin.

Begining of the waterside walk between Ambury and the stonefields.
Waterside walk.
Waterside walk again.
Coming to the end of the waterside walk.
The old stonefields.
Coming in to the Auckland Airport area.
Crew memorial for the Mt Erebus disaster.
Bit of a planespotting break.
Coming across park land just prior to Manukau.

Day 60; Newmarket – Ambury Regional Park

5.5 hours. 

We awoke today to the roosters after the nights melody of noisy farm animals. Jeepers! Lol. 

We brewed up some breakkie in our trusty camp cookers and then packed up to go catch the bus to where we left off yesterday. We grabbed some breakfast from Pita Pit and a pita sandwich for lunch later and off we went.
The trail from Newmarket took us up over Mt Eden which is a brilliant spot up on top of one of Auckland’s many dormant volcanos. You can see down into the crater and the view over Auckland is amazing.
From Mt Eden we headed through suburb streets and university grounds to One Tree Hill and out to the coastline. We stopped at a little bar prior to crossing Mangere Bridge for a brew or two before crossing over.
Mangere bridge was lined with people fishing and the trail then took us along the coastline on a nice wee path back to Ambury Regional Park where we called it a day and decided to stay for another night at the campground.
Unable to found any other good spots in the campground we ended up back in the same spot near the farm animals. I guess it’ll be another noisey night lol.
Our wee campsite at Ambury Campground.
The sign of truth.
Intercepting Auckland’s Coast to Coast walkway at the bottom of Mt Eden.
Heading up Mt Eden.
View of Auckland from Mt Eden.
Mt Eden’s crater.
Beacon at the top of Mt Eden.
Heading towards One Tree Hill.
Mangere bridge.