Category Archives: Te Araroa Thru-Hike 2014-2015 Season


For all posts Auckland related and the trail journals follow the links below;



For all posts Northland related, follow the links below;

Cape Reinga – Ahipara

The Northern Forests

Mangakaretu to Kerikeri

Kerikeri – Waitangi

Pahia to Opua Coastal Walkway

Waikare Connection

Russell Forest to Whangarei Heads

Bream Bay Walk

25 More Sleeps!! :) :) :)

It’s starting to get super exciting! 25 more sleeps till we set off for the Te Araroa 2015 – 2016 season.

Our planning is coming to a close and we have some exciting little side trips and a few alternates set whilst primarily following the trail. We’ve set a date – 28th September.

Set yourself up to follow our blog from this date to check out our adventures from the Tararua’s south. If your interested in Cape Reinga to Waitomo – check out the archives from January – April 2015.

If your out there this season too post your blog in the comments we’d love to follow your adventures as well. And send us questions if you have them. It’s our second time on the trail and we are New Zealander’s who have done a heap of travelling and hiking here – we may be able to help.

We can’t wait to see you out there!!

Exciting New Blogs! :)

I’ve spent some time over the last few months in our ‘Te Araroa off season’ setting up 2 new blogs branching from ‘thereIsnohorizon’ about a couple of things I’m very passionate about.

First & foremost, I’m in love with New Zealand’s huts ❤ They are amazing! I love the diversity in their character and the range in their size and appearance.

Sadly, some of our lesser known and more remote huts due to DOC’s constant underfunding for the scope of its work, end up on a minimal maintenance list. This means when they fall into disrepair they will not be repaired or replaced and will be removed.

The more popular huts don’t face this risk, but these huts are likely the ones that have less character and history. Also, for those wanting a better chance at solitude in the New Zealand backcountry, the more remote huts offer the best chance at this. Despite the ‘beaten trail’ in New Zealand being absolutely stunning, it is equally beautiful if not more so to get off it and visit some of these gems.

There are people and clubs out there who love them just like me and who can’t bear to lose them. They are often volunteering time, effort and funds to help save our huts.

I’ve started ‘The Gems In Our Backyard’ to try and inspire more of us to get out there and enjoy them. I also hope it raises the profile of our huts in need and perhaps will raise some funds along the way to help these people save our huts.

Although it is aimed primarily at inspiring kiwi’s to get out there fall in love with them, it is for anyone, anywhere in the world, who is passionate about NZ huts with a view to help protect them.

Check it out ….

My second blog is all about New Zealand’s non-mountaineering peaks. If I’m not out visiting our gems (or sometime while out visiting our gems), I’m climbing to the tops of these peaks. They’re everywhere, they’re spectacular, and you have to get out there and get on top of one!

Again, this blog is about inspiring people to get outdoors, and climbing our peaks, large or small, is just another fantastic way to do this!

This second blog is very new with only a few posts at the moment, more peaks are coming 🙂

Check it out …..

Hope you enjoy!! 🙂

Day 67 – 85; Lower Mangatawhiri Campground – Waitomo

The remaining two and a half weeks we spent traversing the Waikato, through Mercer, Huntly, Hamilton, Mt Pirongia, and through to where we would leave off the trail for winter.

The track took us along the banks of the mighty Waikato River, through Hamilton City where we stopped for a few days mainly to get a few town errands done. After leaving Hamilton the trail takes you up the Karamu Valley where we stayed a few nights at the lovely Karamu Valley Lodge. We stayed in the B&B here but the couple who own the lodge are hiker friendly and take people in their tents also. They do great meals as well.

From the lodge it was up the road towards the Pirongia Forest. It was a lovely walk over farmland and through bush before arriving at the forest itself. We spent the first night in the campsite a half an hours walk in before heading to the hut at the summit the following day. The summit and the hut are AMAZING 🙂 We had fantastic weather and we stayed up top for two nights.

From Mt Pirongia it was off towards Waitomo. After leaving the forests there was a lot of gravel roads to follow then through some DOC land. We had a campsite set up on the ridgeline at the edge of the DOC land but abandoned camp at dusk as a fire had lit on the opposite hillside. We reported the fire then left as we were understandably uncomfortable sleeping the night with a fire burning away beside us. It was a 3 hour walk out at the end of an already full 8 hour day, to the nearest roadside we could find on the map. We stumbled onto the roadside and knocked on the door of a local couple (to ask if we could pitch our tents till the morning given the situation) who kindly allowed us to sleep in there cabin on there property. Amazing people.

We took transport from here to Waitomo a short distance away and finished for the season with some time in Waitomo. Being so leisurely we had taken quite some time and were clearly not set to make it before the South Island winter. We left intending to set off from here in approximately October to hopefully finish the trail in the 2015 – 2016 season.

Along the banks of the Waikato River.
Along the banks of the Waikato River.
Trailside Karamu Valley Lodge.
Trailside Karamu Valley Lodge.
Farmland track through to the Pirongia Forest.
Farmland track through to the Pirongia Forest.
Campsite a half hour into the Pirongia Forest.
Campsite a half hour into the Pirongia Forest.
Track up Mt Pirongia.
Track up Mt Pirongia.
Pirongia Hut (Old hut now)
Pirongia Hut (Old hut now)
View from Mt Pirongia helipad.
View from Mt Pirongia helipad.
My fiancé Neil and I.
My fiancé Neil and I.
Mt Pirongia summit viewing platform view.
Mt Pirongia summit viewing platform view.
Nice warm fire at our B&B accommodation on the southern side of Mt Pirongia.
Nice warm fire at our B&B accommodation on the southern side of Mt Pirongia.

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.