Toitoi and Hauhungarua Tracks
Start Point: Pureora Forest Park, Barryville Rd (3kms off SH30 & 54 km by road from Te Kuiti)
Finish Point: The eastern road end, Mangakahu Rd, Mangakahu Valley, 29 kms NE of Taumarunui
Distance: 89 km Time: 3 days
Peter and I had poached eggs on toast…yum! We then went and chatted to the two other kiwis walking the trail, Peter and Rose.
We started walking around 7.30am and the first 20km was on the timber trail and was lovely. It was a well groomed trail and reasonably flat. We had quite a bit of drizzle to start and it turned to rain for most of the morning. Heading towards Bog Inn Hut (great name for the hut that has a few rats for flat mates), we saw a headgehog on the trail having a little nap. Very cute.
The trail got a little bit more knarly after that and we had many trees to step over. There was quite a lot of the plant that grabs you and it got my hair good a couple of times. There was mud but nothing like other days but it did mean wet shoes.
I was really enjoying this track as it was steep just undulated along and wasn’t bush bashing as it was wide enough to walk comfortably. It did meander all over the place but was beautiful. It was so enjoyable to not feel lost at any stage and not need to be map or gps reading constantly. We had a couple of short breaks and then we came across two hikers also doing the Te Araroa Trail from Germany.
The weather started to clear and it was really nice having the sun warm us. Carrying on we had a couple of hours pass quickly and my feet were starting to want to be finished. This is when the track turned into a steep up a and down a few times. It socked it to us and we had to soldier on. It dragged the time out and it was slow progress. The trail just seemed to go on and on.
We finally reached the Waihaha Hut at 6 pm and this was a very happy moment! It was a long day of walking today. It is nice to be in a hut with a fire, water and beds.
We has a yummy curry noodle dinner followed by a banana custard dessert. I faded when the sun went down and it was a warm night with the fire still blaring.
Thur 27th Nov: Day 46 – Waihaha Hut to Hauhangaroa Hut, 13km, 5 1/4 hours
Today was about making it to the next hut and having a rest in the afternoon. The forest walk today, was good again. It had three river/stream crossing and they were near the start so I had went feet already.
There was a bit of undulating and a bit of finding the next marker but mainly a day of walk an hour-ish then take a break. I seem to be hungry a lot so need to be constantly eating. Also today I introduced lying down break. It is utter bliss to be lying down when you are tired from walking.
The major hill climb of the day didn’t seem too bad and there was plenty of flat to keep us happy with this trail. The bush lawyer plant was a lot less today along with over grown parts.
There were a lot of giant trees today and the trail went along side a beautiful river. As it was a short day we arrived at the hut and had time to sit on the deck in the sun. It felt like we were on holiday. We chilled the rest of the afternoon away and the German’s turned up to stay a night again. Then at 6pm Peter and Rose turned up as well.
Peter and I ate two dinners. Piggies! The whole got an early night and I slept well for a change…yay!
Fri 28th Nov: Day 47 – Hauhangaroa Hut to Taumaranui, 39km, 10 hours
Up at 6am and we had muesli but also banana custard dessert. We started walking just after 7am and had 7km of forest trail that was nice but had a bit of mud to keep us interested.
After a while we had a river crossing so got shoes wet and then the arrow wasn’t clear which way to go so we headed up with some bush bashing. I managed to get caught up with some blackberry so had to pull out the first aid kit and raid the plasters.
After a bit more walking through mud and water we came out onto a farm road and walked the gravel road for a while. It then turned to tarseal and the soles of the feet started getting sore. We had a couple of stops but our food supply was running low so we had some interesting combinations.
We also got rained on pretty bad. I got cold and it started making the road walking even harder. Lucky Peter was going through the same with me. We came across a hawk in the long grass beside the road. I couldn’t get a photo but it seemed ok just reluctant to leave area. Maybe babies around.
A car slowed down beside us and the driver smirked at us and asked us if we wanted a ride. We then cracked up laughing as the Germans we had shared a hut with the last two nights, were in the back seat already. Very funny until they drove off and the rain poured down. We soldiered on.
As we got closer to the finish of Taumaranui, there were more cars and more houses. The body was packing up and I was wanting to sit down. We finally made it to the BP petrol station and hooned inside as it was starting to rain again. After a pie and juice, followed by a doughnut I felt good again. Easy pleased!
A long tough day but the satisfaction of finishing was incredible.