Photo of the Northern end of Ocean Beach, nr Whangarei with a distant Bream Head at the other end
We have walked through pine forests and native bush, over small mountains, crossed creeks, tackled sealed and unsealed roads and walked kilometer after kilometer along wide sandy beaches. We also camped in reserves, in well-wishers back gardens, on friends yachts and in fee paying campgrounds. The long pathway is certainly a challenging way to see New Zealand, but we have seen far more of an area we thought we knew well and met some amazingly nice people.
We skipped through Auckland and are spending a couple of days at a campground at the old mining town of Huntly on the banks of the Waikato river - NZ's longest.
Tomorrow we intend to walk to the village of Ngaruawahia via the Hakarimata range. We have been told there are quite a number of steps to climb to the 347 m summit. After that we will walk to Hamilton and then into the King Country via Mount Pirongia, through the Pureora forest and up to the slopes of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. Well, that's the plan! Like when we're sailing, we could change our minds at any time!
The Taiharuru estuary can only be waded across at low tide.
Alison reaches the end of Ocean Beach with Bream Head / Te Whara in the distance.
Taranga Island (The Hen) lies just off Bream Bay with the Mangawhai sand spit in the foreground.
Pakiri Beach from Te Arai - Auckland's last unspoiled beach on the East Coast