We knew the North island was going to be passing through a lot of towns, but we’ve found we’re pretty much hiking from one tiny town to the next everyday at this point. The good thing is each little town seems to have a pub. I’m sure we’ll be missing this by the time we get to the South island and have to carry ten days of food at a time. We started today with high hopes of having a long 40+km day and making it to Huntly, after about three hours and only 10km we realized that definitely wouldn’t happen so settled on an early arrival into Rangiriri. We ended up not getting to Rangiriri until 5pm so it ended up being a full day anyway. We started off heading over highway 1 (New Zealand’s main highway) with views back into Mercer. That’s the entire town in the picture below with the Waikato river next to it. The trail went up and over some farm land with good views of the river and surrounding farmland. We descended back down towards the highway and after crossing underneath followed literally right next to it for a few kms. This wasn’t a particularly pleasant part of the trail and we ended up following this for a little longer than we were supposed to. We cut back across some farmland to get more towards the river and trail. From there it was a lot of farm track. This stuff is really bad on your ankles as the cows cross when it’s muddy so it’s just huge divet after divet that invite you to twist your ankle. We had a few electric fences to go under. And ran into some more cows. Some that didn’t want us to pass and others that sprinted away from us. We were pretty tired by the end as even though it was described as “easy tramping track” the terrain was brutal on our ankles and often went straight through thick prickly bushes. We ended on more road with a brief shady section before arriving in Rangiriri. We’ve got a place to stay behind a lady’s house who makes delicious pies and stopped in at a 100 year old pub.