Leaving Whanganui was hard as the river holiday park was a great place to chill out with its games arcade and heated swimming pool, during the walk into town i really didn’t want another long beach walk that seemed to be the long way round so on the move I booked a bus to Bulls which just happened to be leaving a few minutes after I was due to get into the city, perfect timing. From Bulls it was long walk into Palmerston North through the country side in what turned out to be hot day. Worth it as it ment I would be back in the bush a day or two ealier than I had thought. The downside to this was I went from one of the top holiday parks on the journey to the absolute worst and most expensive yet. This also ment I didn’t linger long the next morning.
Like a lot of the local councils the PNCC has embraced the Trail and put a lot of work into catering for walkers with signage, track maintainence and shelters. From Palmerston North it was a walk out through some local tracks, through a well patronised mountain bike park which marked the 1500km halfway point then onto forestry before entering the Tararuas via Burtons track. Just before the start of the track was a neat little shelter Moturimu which i arrived at just on dusk, relieved i didnt need to set the tent up. I split the next section in half staying at the second PNCC shelter Tokomaru before heading out to the Makahika OPC. Although i opted to split this into 2 days they weren’t that easy with plenty of height gain, the second day the rain came in and the trail turned into running rivers running into bigger rivers and plenty of crossings. Wet and tired i hobbled into the OPC where we were advised to skip the Tararuas and hole up in Levin for a few days until the rain and forecast high winds eased. Luck would have it i had a welcoming place to stay 20 mins down the road, Mum & Dad, a bed and real food. A chance to rest and let the tired body recover. I did feel guilty leaving the others in Levin. Tui moment.