Te Araroa News
Te Araroa Kids mark their achievement - 31 January 2013
In December, Mary Hansen - a Te Araroa section walker - was accompanied from Kerikeri to Paihia by her two grandchildren, Jack (4) and Liz (6).
Mary reports on the big adventure as follows:
We left Te Aroha on Sunday 16th of December with very excited children, 4yr old grandson Jack, his 6yr old sister Liz and my daughter Jane driving the station wagon.
Next afternoon we set off from Kerikeri at the famous Stone Store, the beginning of my next section of Te Araroa, everyone was excited about walking a part of the trail. We enjoyed the walk over a grassy hill then onto Inlet road, where there were gardens full of more tropical flowers than we see down here and the lifestyle blocks gradually became bigger as did the livestock, some had clydesdale and carrige horses that appealed to my equine physio daughter and young Liz. We had lovely views across farmland to the Kerikeri inlet, the kids were really enjoying it. Jack had a wee ride in his Mum's pack and a snooze. We were making good time so had an afternoon tea break at a paddock gateway and the kids had fun in the long grass, very soon we reached the forestry gateway that our friends were bringing our car to. We explored the possibilitiy of camping on the edge of the forest but it was very stony and there appeared to be an open grassy area beside the road, apparently a shared driveway to several lifestyle blocks away down the hill. We had a picnic tea there and asked people arriving home from work if we were ok there and it seemed it is happily used as a carpark by walkers and cyclists using the forest tracks. We camped there by the road and heard a few showers in the night.
Regardless of the drizzly rain after breakfast my daughter and the kids were keen to get walking. As arranged the people from the Olive Grove camp, just past Waitangi, came and picked up our car and gear before 9.00 saying they were confident we would reach them around 2.00. We took photos and hiked off uphill into the forest. The drizzle continued all the way through the forestry but we just kept walking, no-one wanted to stop, except to nibble at scroggin and have a wee drink, Jack hitched a ride with his Mum and went to sleep for a while, Liz was happy to keep walking but didn't like being wet. The misty clouds spoilt the views so we didn't bother going up Mt Bledisloe and eventually we walked through native bush before emerging onto open farmland and the road to Waitangi. The weather cleared and it was a pleasant walk to the Treaty grounds, we were too wet to visit the buildings but we found a sheltered corner and had a picnic lunch and an icecream. After a nice break we headed off along the road, crossed the bridge, passed the Marae and turned up Puketona road to the camp arriving about 2.30! We laid out the tents to dry, enjoyed a hot spa and changed into nice dry clothes. After setting up camp we went down to the beach and enjoyed a sunny picnic tea from "Chippies Takeaways" at the old ship and the kids had a lovely time on the beach. They had enough energy to build a big sandcastle and Jack chased seagulls for ages while Liz collected beautifull shells. It was a great experience. The children slept well, as they had each night, and we awoke to better weather.
Wednesday we packed up and drove to the beach where the children and I set out for Paihia, mother going ahead in the car. We found a playground, explored its options and continued for a while until Jane picked up the children and I continued to walk, they stopped at a beach just before Opua and Liz accompanied me for a while then they went on and waited for me at the Opua wharf where Jack found people fishing.
Mission accomplished and fun was had by all! It was a great break away from home and maybe the first of many trips, the children love walking in the bush here on Mt Te Aroha but this was an adventure, thanks to Te Araroa!
Jack and Liz are presented their Te Araroa certificates by proud grandma Mary
Click HERE to go to the Te Araroa certificate generator.