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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 248: Walking the Heaphy Track

NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 10 July 2008 | Views [1510]

The Heaphy Track hugs the Tasman Sea coastline

The Heaphy Track hugs the Tasman Sea coastline

Thursday 10th July

We were up and out of the hostel pretty early, having got out of bed well before the sun had risen. We organised our food for the trek and drove about fifteen kilometres north of Karamea to the start of the Heaphy Track. We started the walk by 08.15 on another perfect day for a hike: sunny, dry and not too warm or cold, and it felt good to set off into the lush forest and across the first of several bridges.

We had planned to walk for a total of five or six hours, halving the time so that we could complete a return trip over the course of that time. The Heaphy Track sticks closely to the coastline, and the track itself slips onto the many wide beaches that are battered by the Tasman Sea. I found it to be even more appealing a place to walk than the Abel Tasman trail, mainly due to the scenery which was a combination of beaches and forest, but with better light and clearer views of the coastline.

We walked up until 11.30 and took a break for twenty minutes to eat some food, and we would have stayed longer had it not been for the annoying sandflies that buzzed about us, and bit the more unfortunate of us. Apparently, these sandflies can be worse than mosquitos in the summertime, and I was glad that we weren't being exposed to the worst of them.

Returning along the same track, we got back to the car park at 14.00 and took a rest for a while before we headed back to 'Rongo'. The walk had taken more out of me than I had expected, and I was falling asleep in the car on the way back to the hostel. I felt so knackered that I had a lie-down for an hour when we got back and I got up feeling better.

That evening, I sent a few emails, chatted to the guys in front of the fire in the living room of the hostel and had an early night at about 22.00. It was quite chilly at night at 'Rongo' and I laughed when I saw a bunch of hot water bottles sitting beside the sink in my room; I thought it wouldn't do any harm to warm the bed up before I got in, and recalled that it had been quite a few years since I had used one of them (probably in my granny's house!). 'Rongo' wasn't the most luxurious of places but it certainly had more character than them all and we were very glad to have come across this place.


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