Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Day 52. Wanganui to Santoft Forest.

Today 39 km. Total 1408 km. 10 hours 40 minutes (0830-1910)

I left the Backpacker at 0730 and wandered into town looking at the sculptures and murals as I went.  At the supermarket I brought lunch for the next leg then had breakfast at a cafe.

The river trail

This is the Wanganui River. Look closely at the reflection for a fine looking tramper.  

Loved this mural

I was on the road at 0830. Today started with a couple of km out of Wanganui then  20 km on SH3, a very busy road. After an hour I had just sat down for a rest when a car pulled up to the intersection and the people indicated that they wanted to talk.  It turns out they are doing TA themselves.  They had done everything south of Wanganui and some bits in the north
They intended to keep doing bits and finish. They had some good stories of some of their trail adventures and I enjoyed the chat.

Nearly 30 minutes later I continued on my way. One funny sight was seeing a horse scratching itself on the support wire for a power pole and seeing the whole pole shaking and the wires all the way to the next pole.

Shaking power pole

Haven't had a letter box picture for a while

Public rose garden in the middle of a paddock

See I am stopping to smell the roses on this journey

The road had decent bike lane for most of it but there were two bits that were more narrow and I had to walk on the rough grass to keep out of the way of the incoming traffic.

Leaving Wanganui District

Most of the roads have good shoulders

The one part with no shoulder

There was one small detour through a little town called Whangaehu and I was hoping there might be a shop to get a cold drink as I was roasting. The was a building labeled General Store established 1946 but unfortunately it was not a store anymore.

At Turakina I turned right and had another 8.5 more km to walk to get to the beach at Koitiata. Just as I was entering the town a car pulled over and started reversing back to me,  though very badly and I was getting ready to jump out of the way when it stopped.  The lady asked if I was doing the trail and then told me she worried about women doing it on their own,  especially with the druggies who are growing marijuana in the forest along the beach.  I explained that I had only had positive experiences so far and liked the independence.  She invited me back to her house to fill up my water bottles which I accepted.  When I arrived she had water ready and some iced water to drink which was fantastic.

Hot enough to melt the tar

Nice lady who filled my water bottles and gave me an ice water drink

I then walked to the beach and followed this for the next 8 km,
stopping for the 1400 km photo. It was an interesting beach, complete with a seal.  It is black sand and there is heaps of driftwood and dunes. I was lucky with the tide which was coming in but still left enough room to walk on firm sand for 7 km and the last km was softer buy still not too bad.  Also the one stream we had to cross was conveniently bridged with driftwood.

Entry to the beach at Koitiata

1400 km

NZ Fur Seal

Black sand beach

Driftwood bridge over Koitiata Stream

The marker off the beach was very hard to see , especially when I didn't know what I would be looking for.  Luckily my time estimate from Koitiata Stream to the turnoff was spot on so I was actively looking for some mark.

Can you spot the marker? 

This is it close up

From the beach the track went over the dunes and dropped into a tunnel of trees before coming out onto a gravel road.  I followed this for a km then at up camp in the pine trees. The best thing- NO SANDFLYS

The dunes

Track marker

Plunging into the forest

Night 52


  1. Hi Kristine. You're doing great! Good mileage by the way. I'm thoroughly enjoying your posts and am more inspired than ever - Just wish I was on the trail now - only 10 months to go.

  2. Hi Mick. Thanks for your comment. I wish you luck in your planning. I found the planning stage fun though fustrating waiting for the time to tick by.

  3. Hi Kristine,
    I'm planning to walk the Te Araroa on the South Island this winter and am searching in vain for the maps with combined trail notes that you kindly had put up online for everybody to download and use. Are they still available and if so where can I find them?
    With kind regards,

  4. Hi Katrin
    Unfortunately it looks like they were removed from the TA Wiki page, probably because the trail and notes are now 2 seasons out of date. You may be able to find the if you search through the archive of the Te Araroa Facebook 14/15 group page as I loaded documents there as well