Ahipara – Mangamuka Summit
1 Oct, 101 – 135 shuttle. 135 – 138km, 3 hrs
I left Ahipara Holiday Park at 11:00, shuttle to Kaitaia. The road walking around the closed Herekino Forest was never my idea of exploring. Drove past the Backpackers and went directly for brunch at Victorian Cafe. Bought a fried bread to go and had a big breakfast.
Headed to the i-site to enquire on track conditions and general camping options. Great advice, she provided spots to camp, showed me the maps giving me confidence to wild camp.
The new Kaitaia museum is lovely and well worth the time to take a look at new exhibitions.
I restocked my pack with supply’s especially for blisters, Carol had filled the boot with options. My resupply box of the next sections food was packed from the boot into the pack in the museum carpark. Dennis offered to take me to the trail head with only 1.5 km to a rough camp up the hill. Driving over the narrow bridges especially that longer one on SH, the shuttle for me was right. Many people want to walk every step and take 2 days to complete this connection.
I arrived at the camp uphill and it was only 3:20, so I changed into suitable gear and decided to push on to the summit before dark. Hard going, stopped at 6:00 and ate fresh food and decided to keep going. I missed a turn off and had to retrace my steps taking 30 minutes.
Four large cattle were on the track, I could see they had eaten growth on both sides of the track and hoof marks dug deep into the track. When I heard them and saw how big they were I raised my poles and they bolted, a lesson from earlier. Scary big beasts on the run wrecking the bush, it was later suggested I could tell the story of when I drove cattle through the Raetea Forest on the TA.
Just up ahead was a lookout and I decided I’ll wild camp here tonight. All settled in, cold, and quiet. No tent I just laid myself out realising I need a decent groundsheet with a silver heat protection layer to stop the cold coming from the ground. Pleased I had 3 hours into what is said to be a big day passing through Raetea Forest.