DAYS 51-60: Te Kuiti to Taumarunui

7 days walk then 3 days rest. The trail from Te Kuiti follows the Mangaokewa stream for almost 2 days through bush and limestone cliffs then along a farm road and then highway linking to Pureora and the Timber Trail.

The Mangaokewa river trail was great,a little challenging with a fragile track and a little over grown with Blackberry but plenty of birdlife. It was a bit of a slog following the road to Pureora but the campground and forest at the start of the timber trail made it worth the grind. The evening  brought out flocks of Kaka which competed with the Tui for airtime with a host of other birds chimming in. I also met Judith H here who welcomed me with some much need fruit and sent me off the next day with a great lunch. The support and hospitality TA walkers receive along the way is simply magic. The more New Zealanders that experience the TA can only enhance the experience of those that follow.

I took my time here 4 half marathons and a 5th to get into Taumarunui. Its possible to walk this in 2 1/2 days but that’s gonna hurt. It’s a well formed track with plenty of camp sites through some stunning forests with old trees, deep gorges, history and teaming with bird sound, pretty sure I heard the Nth Is Kokako but never close enough to be sure.

Lake Taupo
Bog Inn
One of the longer suspension bridges on the timber trail.

Four days of track then into Taumarunui for a couple of rest days, that turned into 3 days while I found someone to complete the whole river journey, the weather outlook is good for the next 12 days, (30 degrees today) so glad to be paddling not walking for the next week. Day 61 on the river.

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