Te Araroa day one,  2ed October 2016


Flight Christchurch to Auckland then onto Kerikeri

The flight from Auckland to Kerikeri wasn’t the best, the pilot came over on the PA announcing that we were going to experience severe weather, thunder, lightening and worst of all he said, we were going through the centre of it.  No drinks served and he was right, it was rough. On arrival, the bus driver who took us into Kerikeri said that we were lucky to make it as another 10-15 minutes he reckoned that we would have been turned back or cancelled before we even left Auckland.

Raining in Kerikeri waiting for our bus connection to cape Reinga


First job while waiting for out next connection to head to Cape Reinga was to get fuel for our cooker and have lunch at the local Subway.

We had all our food supply to last us a good seven days, if not more, thanks to Eunhwa’s family in Korea, dehydrated korean food where you just pour hot water up to the water line in the container and five minutes later you have a decent meal. 

This is all the food we carried with us from S korea and thailand. To be distributed in four drop boxes to be used mainly for the south island.

Two hour wait for the connecting bus to get us to the major junction at Awanui and then we plan to hitch hike to Cape Reinga.   Would have preferred a direct bus to our starting point, the most northern point of New Zealand, but this seemed only available  in tourist buses that leave first thing in the morning.


So what to do in Kerikeri, the town we will visit again in two weeks while on the Te Araroa track, Probable not much except hang out at the Subway or at the many coffee shops avoiding the rain. Sure there’s probably a lot to do, time permitting, in the Bay of islands, but the best we could do was observe the balancing rocks across the road where I counted 14 on top of each other.


Bus from Kerikeri to Awania and now we are standing on the side of the road with our thumbs out waiting for a lift direct to Cape Reinga.  Our first day was a but unknown with water supply, do we fill up now and carry 3-4 litres of water each or hope that there is going to a water supply up there. The information shop was closed so we just carried water for the day in our bladder bags just a litre each. 


  With no bus services to get us to Cape Reinga, the only option was to hitch hike

Turned out to be a slow day, with four lifts we only got half way and it was only locals that gave us lifts with the many camper vans passing us by.  Interesting talking to the locals and their concerns and what was coming up the most was that countries  like China coming over and “selling” our resources like dairy, trees and even ground water then ship it straight out of New Zealand with minimal benefit to the locals in the area, and then about immigration .  Our final stop, where we waited for a couple hours was Potahi, we finally gave up with no traffic coming and made our way to a local Rugby field where we camped in the corner near some bushes, hidden, well that’s what we thought.  


Our dinner, Bibimbap food from Korea, surprisingly it was really nice and filling with rice, vegetables, sesame oil and chilly paste and yellow bean soap.  All done in two packets which you add hot water to them and the other good thing is there’s no dishes. 


Just as we were finishing dinner, a lady drove up saying we were camping on Maori land and she was a trustee of the land.  After some time where we apologize many times, we were told to pack up and lucky for us, she had a kind moment and told us that we could camp on her front yard.  Our first night sleep, for me, was very uncomfortable, hard ground and no pillow.