Te Araroa: Omaha and Dome Forests (from Pakiri to Puhoi)
We shared the Pakiri Beach Holiday Park with a large group of school children. Right at the time we went to bed, they started cooking. Not really ideal, as our alarms were set early.
We eventually started hiking at 6:50am.
Housten: We have a problem!
Just after we walked of the campground, water started dripping from Jasper’ backpack. For those that are not familiar with this type of backpack: there shouldn’t be water dripping from it. Jasper quickly emptied his back and soon discovered that there was quite a bit of water in his back. The cause was found in a tiny hole in his water bladder. Because we couldn’t do much about it now, we patched the hole with duct tape. Meanwhile, Yvonne, Nadja and Boris had already continued. In total, it took us about 10 minutes before we also continued.
For the first kilometers, we followed a gravel road, but once we left the road behind the track ascended a steep hill. Just when we thought we were nearly at the top of the hill, the track descended the hill via a very muddy and slippery path. It took quite some time to negotiate all the mud as we basically continued walking on this slippery track until the top of the Mount Tamahunga. When we arrived at the helicopter pad, Yvonne, Nadja and Boris just left. We took a short break before ascending Mount Tamahunga. We followed the long and winding track through the forest. Going down was much more easy than up, except for the last few meters, where we had to negotiate a few short but steep ascends and descends.
When we existed the forested, we suddenly stood on an iron road. We followed this road for about 3 kilometers, after which we followed a 4x4 track before eventually entering the forest again. The track was in reasonably good conditions and brought us all the way down to a river. We were able to cross the river without getting our feet wet. At the river, we collected a lot of water as we knew that there was a big chance we wouldn’t make it out of the forest before it was getting dark. With about 4 liters of water each, we continued up a steep 4x4 track towards the start of Dome Forest. Right before we entered the forest, we noticed a large and level area. We hesitated because we initially wanted to make as much progress as possible. However, we also knew that their would be very limited possibilities to set up our tent within the forest. Therefore we decided to call it a day and set up our tent right before the entrance to Dome Forest.
We set our alarm half an hour before our usual wake-up time. Our plan was to have breakfast at the Dome Café. And we succeeded. After packing all our gear, we walked 2,5 hour through Dome Forest before arriving at Dome Café. This early exercise resulted in us enjoying our full English breakfast even more. Our break at the Dome Café took way too much time. But we did continue walking in the end. A lot of gravel roads, some bush tracks and paddocks, brought us all the way to Puhoi. A mere 33 kilometers from where we started this morning. We did some shopping’s in the local shop and subsequently went for one of our best burgers so far at the pub. It is a hard life waling the Te Araroa.