Day 23 Ruakaka to Waipu

3pm Waipu Cove

Waipu? I think the answer is quite obvious, it’s an essential digestive function to excrete solid waste products from the body. Just wanted to clear that one up.

I’ve only made it to Waipu Cove, after having aspirations of getting closer to Mangawhai. I was doing pretty well until I got to the Waipu “River Walk”…. Walk! It was more like a mud bath/tree climb/through hedge backwards scramble! I nearly lost my crocs when sank up to my knees in the mangrove mud. I did attempt it at high tide so maybe this section would be easier at lower tide although it would still be muddy muddy.

This took me about 2 hours to just cover 3km so was slow going. I nearly lost my first aid kit, it fell out when I was having a fight with a giant flax bush whilst trying not to electrocuted by the electric fence millimetres away at the same time. Luckily I stopped soon after to get a plaster for a new second generation blister so I realised and backtracked to find it.

It was definitely “crocs with socks” time. I ended up coming up from the river ordeal through some chaps garden, I waved and said Hi as I did so, he waved back without too much alarm so maybe he’s used to seeing dishevelled TA walkers emerge at his place?!

Murray had again come to my rescue and dropped me off at a rainy Ruakaka surf Club car park, this missed I’ve nipped a bit off the Marsden Point section (but don’t worry I’ll make it up. In fact I have found out that the North Island walk is actually 1’695km and not 1’600km so I’m still in credit!)

The weather was pretty overcast but this is good for walking!

I was pretty choked saying goodbye to Mike Sonia, Maxine and Murray this morning. It dawned on me I may not see them all together again if/when they do end up moving. They have been like a second family to me and now I’m back on m own again and missing both my homes. It’s Alice’s 13th Birthday today as well and first time I’ve not been home to share it. boo hoo

I’ll be ringing Alice tomorrow morning when its her evening…I know it is pretty confusing). I’ve got a signal here in Waipu Cove which is another reason I’m staying put.

It feels I’m now on a new chapter of my journey which will take me to Auckland in around 10 days time. The section after will be to Tongariro and meeting up with Chris.

Chris has emailed me his kit list and I’ve sent my comments back now I am a “seasoned tramper” (the owner of the campsite I’m staying in tonight put me down as “Nick Lockwood….Walker” which I liked) with advice such as “underpants, do you really really need them?”

The earlier part of the “real walk” (as opposed to mud bath river bit) was quite mixed, all pretty flat starting with an hour down the beach, I then saw a TA sign pointed off the beach and began to think it wise to follow it as it wasn’t clear how to negotiate the Waipu River mouth especially when the tide would be fairly high so inland I went. The other reason I came off the beach was because of the disappointment of getting to the naturist beach called Uretiti (pronounced “your a titty” i kid you not) and there wasn’t even a German ball bag in sight never mind a pleasant titty or preferably two.

Stopped for a flat white in Waipu town and bought a “hangover” pie out of curiosity. disappointingly, although tasty enough, it didn’t appear to be much more than steak.

I’m sure dear reader you will want a full update on yesterday’s slog up Bream Head. It was a long day as you will have gathered and if anything there were even more steps coming down the other side. Imagine if you can a set of stairs, like the ones at home just going up and up (or down and down) for almost 2 kilometres and you will have a good idea of what this was like (nb these steps were not carpeted like the ones you may be imagining).

I finally took my final step on a step at about 5pm and came out at urquarts bay. and at this juncture can I just say another big thank you to all those involved in the creative concept that is the Urquarts Bay toilets, “toilets” do not do them justice, a “haven of ablutions” would be a better phrase. They were simply lovely, very spacious, fully tiled in a neutral but strikingly elegant mocha of showhome quality, well supplied with two ply paper, soap dispenser actually have soap in it and it worked. I spent a blissful 15 minutes disrobing and carrying out as many functions as I could think of to make the most of this most wonderous amenity. Outside there was even a multi-functional water station with two heights of dispensers (one low enough for dogs to use?) and a tap for filling the water bottles of thirsty hikers to boot. I was on my fifth litre of the day by this time which I think is a record for me. To cap it all, quite literally, there was a “growing roof” on this magnificent edifice. Once more …Well done Urquarts Bay!

Suitably abluted and quenched I walked to the main Whangarei Heads road, saw a car and tentatively stuck my thumb out and lo and behold it stopped (well the people inside made it stop). These were a youngish couple Kristen who was driving was from South Africa but had lived in NZ for 9 or so years, the bloke whos name I can’t recall was a kiwi gave me a biscuit and we chatted on the way back to whagarei. they were up from Auckland visiting family and had walked Mount Manaia today and heading back to whangarei to have a meal at his brothers. His parents were dairy farmers who were now in Aussie. He mentioned a place to stay on the Whangnui river section (st Josephs near Jerusalem..yes there is a place called Jerusalem on the river. They dropped me off at Kensington which was ideal as I could get some beers and supples at the supermarket. I nearly lost my day sack as I’d left it in their back seat but remembered just in time to bang on the window just as they were pulling out…Phew!

Had a lovely cold beer in the car park while mike came down to pick me up. A refreshing shower at Max and Murrays was followed by a meal at Mike and Sonia’s (up more steps!) where I devoured three pork schnizels with consummate ease. Felt a bit tipsy after 5 or so beers which went straight to my legs. Had a good chat with Mike and Sonia before heading for bed, just about managed to keep my eyes open to watch last few overs of the NZ vs India cricket test (NZ won despite it rained off with 3 balls to bowl) and was then probably fast asleep within minutes.

So that brings you just about up to date, think I’ll head into Waipu cove “town centre” where there is a dairy and a cafe apparently, one km exactly down the dunes.

5pm Waipu Cove at the “two fish Bar/cafe”

This is nice. A new bar/cafe has opened and i’m enjoying a glass of Monteiths Golden ale while contemplating my culinary options available. These are to dine on my dried pasta dishes, have fish and chips from the diary/takeaway or select from the very appetising fare here at the bar/cafe. Look a bit pricey (pizza $25) but other options look tasty (Te Ika Mata – lime cured fish with avocado, coconut cream, spring onion and crisp. Wagu Burger with bacon, cheddar, bread and butter pickle (?), and agria crisps…mmmmm decisions decisions

Talking of decisions I need to work out my route tomorrow and the next few days and whether to catch up with Karla who will be moving on from Matakana on Sunday

A little while ago whilst I was having a cup of coffee outside the dairy some mums with small children came and sat on the bench to have their ice creams and a cute little girl stubbed her toe and it bled, she was really upset but I came to the rescue with my strapping tape and once covered up she soon stopped crying (what is it about kids and plasters!?). I then created an image of myself being the “Guardian Angel” who travels from town to town doing good deeds (There was a series on this concept ages ago starring that chap from Little House on the Prairie Michael Langdon?/).Well I can dream can’t I.

What a lovely welcome!

What a lovely welcome!

always time for coffee, very comfy seats too.

always time for coffee, very comfy seats too.

walk or obstacle course?

walk or obstacle course?

Celebrating the 400km milestone at Waipu Cove

Celebrating the 400km milestone at Waipu Cove

Not a titty in sight at Uretiti naturist beach.

Not a titty in sight at Uretiti naturist beach.

blog writing pose!

blog writing pose!

cool "ferry" across the river (puddle).

cool “ferry” across the river (puddle).

my dinner companion.

my dinner companion.


No chips as my body is my temple.

No chips as my body is my temple.

At "two fish bar cafe". Looks like it ate the second one!

At “two fish bar cafe”. Looks like it ate the second one!


there are heaps of camp sites in the cove, i may have got the more expensive and regimented one of the lot ($25 and instructions everywhere, but the chap Paul seems nice enough), it is also nearest to start of tomorrows track, and it has also got a super cool ferrying device where you pull ropes on pulleys to get across the small river and on to the dunes.

I needed to buy more sunblock as mine seems to have disappeared during my fight with the Waipu River walk obstacles but they only had big bottles at dairy at $20 and I decided to take my chances tomorrow and restock at Managawhai where there are more shops (3 at least)

7pm waipu cove camp site

Ahhh…this is the life, as you probably guessed I plumbed for the cafe/bar and enjoyed a delish fish burger and also coated Calamari (but with no chips as I must watch my figure). I’m having a cup of coffee and waiting for the sun to go down. Feeling a tad lazy with only 5 hours walking today. Tomorrow will be tougher as going inland and up over 200 metres height before coming back to Managawhai, looks about 24km and around 8 hours, warns about needing map and compass skills, I just hope my GPS bails me out again as I’m not that confident with compass.

2 thoughts on “Day 23 Ruakaka to Waipu

  1. Hey nick ( walker,)thanks for the detailed updates. Sometimes I am almost there with you seeing ,hearing, tasting and smelling ! You are looking smaller , chiselled and honed more like Daniel Craig than ever now! Keep enjoying yourself Mum has written a letter and I will try to get it to you , she is very well and talks about your feet often . Can’t believe you abstained on chips ! Off to high Wycombe for my birthday weekend. Keep fit and safe little bro.
    Lots of love jan xx

    • How was High Wycombe? Hope you had good birthday. Keep the comments coming and don’t worry I’m back on the chips (had them with battered fish scallops, mussels and oyster last night …… With salad of course! Dried pasta next few days alas. Take care.

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