Day 27 – Pete on the Road

After three nights in our Auckland hostel we were finally packing up this morning. We’ve still been hiking everyday just heading back to there at night’s to sleep since there’s nowhere to camp along the Auckland trails. We took the city train out to the botanical gardens where we stopped yesterday and got going from there. Apparently the trail went up through a park next to the botanical gardens as we immediately split from it and went to the cafe in the gardens for a pastry and coffee. Following second breakfast we rejoined with the trail and continued on for what would be a mostly road day. We had some nice views across the countryside but the road was narrow, there was no shoulder to speak of, and we were walking towards an active quarry so constantly heavy trucks passing right by us. We did see a lot of cows and sheep, who are both unbelievably startled having people pass them for the stream of trucks going by. Our trail turned off right before the quarry and climbed steeply up farm land and through a small pine forest providing great views of the Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel peninsula. After a short break for lunch at what we thought was the top we then went down and up a bit more through some very thick and prickly New Zealand bush before reaching an actual viewing platform. From there the trail dropped quickly on a nice track that we passed a few other day hikers on then let us out just outside Clevedon. It was a tiny but nice little town and we stopped at the dairy (convenience) store for a cold drink and a Cornetto. This was also where we parted ways with the Te Ararao track for the night as it headed off into the currently closed Hunua ranges. We went on a road by pass that will link us up again sometime tomorrow after the range. This road was better as there were no trucks but we still had the same problem of no shoulder. We again passed by a lot of cows who has now started running towards us (inside there fences) and gathering by the gates as if we were about to let them out. It was all very entertaining for us at least.

We weren’t sure where to camp tonight but had heard from a local you could access Hunua Falls via a road that took you to the edge of the park and wasn’t closed. We walked down here, had dinner and took a few photos, then found somewhere to camp close by.

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