Day 26 – Planes, Plants, and Poo

Another day of slackpacking out of Auckland. This time we took Heather’s emptied pack with us so we could carry lunch and some more water as while we weren’t carrying packs we were going to be in some of the more remote areas of Auckland. The trail picked up right where we left off crossing a footbridge and immediately turned into a wilderness area that included a bird sanctuary and some sacred Maori areas. This was also where a lot of Auckland’s volcanic activity had been and you could see many volcanic looking rocks dotted around. As with everything in New Zealand there were a fair amount of sheep in this area too. We then got the pleasure of passing by both the old Auckland sewage works and the active Auckland sewage works. Both smelled pretty bad and there were plenty of advisories not to go swimming in the area. I’m not sure how well the birds are holding up in their sanctuary close by… Aside from the smell, it was a pleasant walk around this area and towards the airport. The weather had cleared up and we were getting a good amount of sun (more than we wanted as usual). Coming off this path we intersected the highway to the airport and walked right up that and nearly into the airport. We took a small detour to the side to get a chocolate milk (for me) and coke (for Heather) so didn’t get as close as we could’ve but on walking a little further round we ended up going right underneath the approach pass of the planes and got some pretty cool views there. The road walking here really sucked but it was totally worth it for the views of the planes. The plane spotting car park was packed too so we wouldn’t have been able to find parking if we’d driven. After that it was back to more road walking and cows until we strangely navigated through an industrial zone on the other side of the airport. This was a lot of road walking and we’ve both managed to get some great tans on the backs of our legs from walking in shorts (despite vigirously applying 50 SPF). The walk ended along a little river path and then popped up into the botanical gardens. We took the train back to Auckland at this point for one more night in the city and then will finally leave to continue on tomorrow.

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