We woke up to more rain but less wind so decided to give it a go again from Stillwater this morning. The one caveat was that as hide tide was around 11am we’d have to do an alternate route to replace part we’d be missing and then drive to the end of the part we hadn’t been able to complete. The campsite manager volunteered to pick us up after completing the first section so we were all set.
We weren’t hiking with packs as the guy had offered to drive them round since we were likely to get wet and we weren’t going to say no to that. The hike got to a part of the map that he’d said might be difficult on a day like today pretty quick and we were soon waste deep in water. The trail looked like it was supposed to follow beach around with an alternative route up a hill. The beach was underwater and the hill was washed out so we went with the beach route. It was actually quite fun as we weren’t to bothered about getting wet but was very slow going given all the debris floating around and the waves constantly buffeting us.
Aside from the lack of trail for parts this was actually a really nice route that would’ve had great views of it was nice out. We ended up finishing in about two hours then getting our packs and starting on the final stretch to Auckland down the North Shore.
The rest of the day was navigating along the coast down North Shore to Devonport. North Shore is effectively a series of wealthy suburbs all overlooking water, Auckland, islands, etc. The path down through this section was quite nice as it was mostly cliff tops with grassy or paved walkways on top. This made the going pretty quick and we even stopped for pie and pastries for lunch.
There was plenty of storm damage along the way. A lot of people were out cleaning up debris and repairing fences that had come down and trees blown into things. We didn’t see any houses destroyed or anything to catastrophic but you could tell there’d definitely been some damage done.
We finally started to see Auckland breaking out of the clouds and made it to Devonport to catch the short 15 minute ferry across to Auckland. We’re again dry and warm tonight (and well fed after a good burger) staying at a nice little hostel in downtown Auckland ready to begin the city section tomorrow.