Orewa 537km to Onehunga 595km (day 32 to 39)
For those following closely, yes, I just skipped from Puhoi to Orewa. The TA asks for a kayak, but it has to be outgoing tide, and nice weather for that. We had neither, so our TA included a ride to Silverdale with our wonderful hostess Pip, then a walk to Orewa, to a small bnb for a couple of nights to relax and recharge. Lovely beach, good services, including a Deep Creek pub. And we had a lovely unexpected pop-in by Jake, a good friend from Welly, who was vaguely nearby (e.g. in Auckland).
All too soon it was time to move on, firstly a mainly road section to Stillwater. Picked up 3km before the destination by an uncle of an ex-Mako (small world), we were only mildly drenched when we got to an old school, delightful motor camp in Stillwater. A free roof over our head, what luxury!
Getting out of Stillwater was a little problematic- given the wrong tide (a bit of a theme for us), and closed track due to Kauri dieback. But, we found a track out, up to a new subdivision, and back to East Coast Bays Road. Here our proximity to a big city worked both for and against us. Sooo busy, and 100km road, but close enough for uber to work! 5km respite down to Long Bay Beach. From there along to a bnb in Torbay – mainly so we could spend a late afternoon in Deep Creek Brews and Eats at Browns Bay. Even with topsy turvy weather, it was a lovely afternoon.
The heavens opened overnight, so we were so lucky to only have the lovely North Shore Coast pathway to Takapuna to complete. Amazing walkway, past cute beaches, lovely reserves, massive homes. Who lives in these mansions. Yes, jealous in part, but incredulous as well that these ‘homes’ exist here.
We had a lovely weekend in Auckland with our good friends Tony and Nancy. Who put up with laundry and TA stories! We also did the Takapuna to Onehunga trail – such an awesome way to see more new parts of Auckland.
We travelled the next 80km of the TA via public transport, to rejoin at Mercer. Bus, walk, train, train, bus – quite a journey in itself. Through a very different side of Auckland. What a huge, diverse city. We are glad to have seen some different sides of her.