Day 16 – Whananaki to Ngunguru

November 3, 2016

km travelled today: 27

total TA km: 339

Today was a great one.  The day began the same old way.  We woke up at 6:30 at the Whananaki Holiday Park for a breakfast of Bumper Bars and promptly got moving.  We started by crossing the Whananaki Footbridge which as we learned from Mick Beckers’ blog is the longest footbridge in the southern hemisphere!


After catching some gorgeous glimpes of coastline, we began the Whananaki Coastal Track.  

Along the track are some of the most beautiful views of the Pacific we’ve had so far, the foreground decked out in flowers, grass, and cliffs booming with surf.

Gravel road walking took us back and forth along the coast, occasionally dipping inland for some hilly farm walking.  Soon we took to a paved road until we reached the small coastal locality of Matapouri, where we topped up on some massive servings of Tip Top ice cream and a bag of “crisps.”

From there we headed back onto the road, until we turned off onto gravel road, and then into forest on the Matapouri Bush track.  

The walking in the forest was mostly great, with the odd exception of downhill mud-walking of which Raetea taught us such fondness.  The forest opened into a nice wide track with the occasional coastal view through the trees. 

During our descent out of the forest we passed a massive Kauri Tree, big enough to have a name which unfortunaly escapes me.  There we took our lunch break and described in vivid detail the chicken wings we wish we had in place of our current GORP combo.

Out of the forest we were just a couple of K from Ngunguru.  Once we got to town we swung my Mila’s Backpacker Ranch, a gorgeous spot tucked away in Ngunguru.  For $10 pp per night, its a sweet option for camping.  For $16 you cam stay in a caravan transformed into cabin called “Love Shack.”

We got to Mila’s a bit too early to camp there, and so after a tearful goodbye to her horses, we went to meet James, the delightful Kiwi man who took us across the river to his campground.

He’s owned this bit of land since 1992 and it is stunning. For $15, James shuttles you across the river, and you get access to hot showers and a kitchen in a beautiful wooden hut.  

We made a big rice dinner and talked to James for a couple of hours about everything from his help maintaining and constructing sections of the TA, to the US presidential election.  James is a sweet man and an incredible host. 

 Nikau Bay Camp is his spot.  With the choice between Mila’s and Nikau, Ngunguru is a perfect place to be.  Also shout out to Nathan, our Swiss friend we’ve been hanging with today.  Funny dude.

Awesome day, feeling so great to be on this trail with these dudes.


4 thoughts on “Day 16 – Whananaki to Ngunguru

  1. Rambun-men, This is your buddy Mike from the building. I started to follow your blog it’s awesome. Jasper, you and your crew inspire me to get my boys together to get out there and do more hiking. Your pictures are amazing. I will continue to follow your great journey…


  2. Jack et al,
    I have finally learned how to access and read your blog. Loved the picture of you with the horse. Next time you have the opportunity to cook a rabbit, use the Cajun Way with the “holy trinity” of onions, celery, bell pepper, and a soupcon of garlic. I am enjoying all your comments and descriptions. Polly


  3. Sounds like a great day. You got to love NZ mud that defies all known laws of Physics. It holds on to hillsides against gravity but speeds up ones descent for sure. 🙂


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