Day 8; Hukatere – Waipapakauri

4.5 Hours.

Awoke today to another amazing Hukatere Lodge breakfast πŸ™‚

Gabrielle offered to ferry our backpacks ahead to Waipapakauri so we only had day bags today. Awesome luxury.

Took the Coastal Road that follows the shoreline between Hukatere and Waipapakauri today to get off the beach. Was a nice walk past heaps of road turn-offs marked by trinkets and stuff.
Arrived at Waipapakauri early afternoon and stayed at the holiday park. Good spot with camp ground amenities & small ice cream / beverages selection at office.
Obviously we had a ice cream :p

Set up camp, did laundry & ate dinner. Spent the rest of the evening chilling out in the tent powering up for the last wee beach stretch to Ahipara tomorrow.

Neil & Gabrielle the owner.
The Coastal Road between Hukatere & Waipapakauri.
One of the trinket turn offs – this one has an aeroplane πŸ™‚
View of Ninety Mile Beach from the Coastal Road.
Looking in to Waipapakauri Holiday Park.
Entrance to Waipapakauri Holiday Park.

Day 7; Zero Day @ Hukatere

Hukatere Lodge is amazing.

Woke up to a full breakfast, muesli, yoghurt, juice, coffee, toast, bacon, home laid eggs!!! Nom!!!!

Chilled in the bath for an hour or so after breakfast & went for a short walk up Hukatere Hill (53m – lol). The dog from the property followed us the whole way and loved it! Haha πŸ™‚
Came home and relaxed on the deck sorting out gear, then had nibbles and delicious fish and veges cooked for dinner. Again, we crashed soon after a couple of homemade ciders πŸ™‚

Big Coco of Hukatere Lodge followed us all the way to the top of Hukatere Hill – keener than mustard lol.
Looking down the balcony of Hukatere Lodge.

Day 6; The Bluff – Hukatere

3 Hours.

……. + 20 mins car / dune buggy.

This section is the worst. Long, featureless, relentless. The heat haze prevents you from seeing more than 10 or so kms ahead (not that it matters – it looks exactly the same).
The beach walking gets tiring and hard on the feet. It’s been hot and windy today.

Today the beach won.

After walking the first 15km, we accepted a ride in the car / dune buggy of some kind people.
Extremely happy to get to our destination today, we arrived at the Hukatere Lodge B&B where the owner Gabrielle & her partner greeting our weary bones with free ice cold beer & homemade cider!!!
We had dinner with them, a BBQ of steak & veges. Then crashed soon after!

We actually made it.
Hukatere Lodge homemade cider. Delicious business!

Day 5; Waitiki Landing – The Bluff

6 Hours.

Set off from the Te Paki Stream carpark today after getting transport back to the track. Nice walk up the stream bed past the dunes again. Less tourists this time lol.

Got up to the stream mouth and had to rescue a couple of tourists stuck on the beach in their two wheel drive rental car, got them out eventually with the help of the next passing people.

Continued up the beach towards The Bluff, took up the kind offer of some delicious watermelon from some passerby’s on quad bikes – yumm!

The length of the beach is starting to become obvious today, it’s loooooong. Really really loooong. Us vs the beach. So far so good.

Eventually reached the camp site behind the dunes at The Bluff to set up camp. Good camp site, with water, toilets, and grassy area. People at the camp site were super friendly and spoke to us a lot. I think we accidentally camped in the middle of the kids motor cross track though as we spent a few hours chilling in the tent whilst being continuously lapped lol. Oops. Haha πŸ™‚
Really nice spot.

Route up the Te Paki stream bed.
Rest stop on the Ninety Mile Beach.
Inside our tent.
Looking out over The Bluff campsite.

Day 4; Zero Day @ Waitiki Landing Campsite

Chilled out, rested, drank beer, sorted gear and de-sanded. Had a yummy cooked breakfast at the restaurant & a delicious burger there for dinner πŸ™‚

Made the mistake of opening our cabin door breifly at dusk to the mob of awaiting hungry mosquitos last night. Consequently now covered in mosquito bites :/

Neil doing something or another.
View out over Waitiki Landing campsite from our cabin.
This is the original light house from North Cape. Now kept at Waitiki Landing.

Day 3; Te Paki Stream Mouth – Waitiki Landing Campsite

2.5 Hours.

Detour from trail to miss forecast rain, chill out & drink beer.

1 hour out along stream to Te Paki Stream carpark, past the giant Te Paki sand dunes covered in bus loads of tourists on boogie boards.Β Toilet at carpark, picnic tables, and the man in the truck hiring boogie boards sold cans of fizz! Yum!! Coca cola saved the day πŸ™‚ (FYI – for those who know me I’ve officially quit ‘quitting sugar’ for the duration of the trail).

Got offered a ride from here to SH1, then an hours walk down the road to Waitiki Landing Campsite. Fish n chips, restaurant, cabins, camping, water, limited convenience store & bottle store. Tonight was New Years Eve, we had crashed by 9:30pm lol.

Neil chilling at Te Paki stream carpark picnic table.
Looking out over the giant Te Paki sand dunes.
Sign at entrance to stream and the kind people who drove us to the main highway.

Day 2; Te Werahi Beach – Te Paki Stream Mouth

5.5 Hours.

Over Herangi Hill and past Cape Maria Van Diemen. First hill (all 160m of it), and onto Twilight Beach. Bumped into a couple of folk en route, stopped for lunch at Twilight Beach camp site at the southern end of the beach. Toilets, rainwater, cooking shelter, good grassy clearing for camping.

After lunch headed off up, over and past Scott Point, down the super staircase onto ninety mile beach. Small area to camp at start of beach but no facilities and no water.

Continued on to Te Paki Stream mouth where we camped for the night in the dunes. Not the best area to find campsite. Plenty of water though, (too much sand). Shared our campsite overnight with a wild noisey boar who shat and left big footprints but was never seen. Suffered a bit of heatstroke.

Beginning of track over Herangi Hill.
Looking back over Te Werahi Beach towards Cape Reinga.
Twilight Beach camp site.
First glimpse out over the relentless Ninety Mile Beach.

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