Day 59: (January 2nd) 19.4mi/31.3km Mangaone carpark to Paekakariki holiday park
I slept in today, I think I’m still catching up from sleep from yesterday. I pack up, and walk the 10 minutes to the carpark, where I see Cami & Michael (Canada). They must’ve camped there, haha. I do the 10km roadwalk to town, using my umbrella in the drizzle.
It’s a public holiday, so most of the shops are closed, but Subway is open! I have 2nd breakfast with a sandwich. The lady working there is super friendly, and she hears me say “wicked”, which leads to a conversation, since her son goes to college at Bentley University (Boston MA).
I get some groceries for the next 2 days, and walk thru town along the river, to the beach.
The beach is cool, the sun is coming out, and there are views of Kapiti island!
The trail leaves the beach and follows a trail thru the dunes, which is a nice break from the wind.
I get to the holiday park at 6pm, and Amanda & Ruben arrive too!
Day 60: (January 3rd) 21.3mi/34.1km Paekakariki holiday park to Spicer Forest
I leave the holiday park late at 8:15am, since I have to make some phone calls to figure out some stuff for the upcoming south island, like ferries and resupply boxes.
The hike is easy along the beach, and then climbs uphill 300m on the Escarpment track.
Then the trail drops down to a town, where there is a dairy on the trail. Of course, there are like 8-10 other hikers there. And of course, I get an ice cream.
I walk with the Canadian couple for the rest of the morning, and we do the roadwalk to the next town, where there is a small water park! It’s hot, so we run thru the water cannons, buckets, and sprinklers.
We stop for a late lunch at BurgerFuel, a NZ upscale burger chain. The milkshakes are delicious, and actually thick with ice cream!
The rest of the group is staying in town, but I continue on another couple hours. The trail climbs a hill with nice views, then drops down into a nice pine forest.
Perfect for camping!
Day 61: (January 4th) 15.8mi/25.5km Spicer Forest to Wellington CBD
I realized last night that today is Friday, and the post offices are closed tomorrow, so I have to mail my resupply today! After hiking 25km too. So, I’m awake early and hiking at 6:30am.
The trail climbs and descends a couple small hills, with great views of wellington and the sea.
The last hour of the trail goes thru suburbs, where I see the most NZ thing yet – a dog playing on a trampoline.
The route goes thru the botanical gardens, which is a nice break from the suburbs.
I arrive in the CBD at noon, and do my grocery shopping for 3 sections of south island, since there are some towns there without grocery stores.
I Mail the food ($200 worth!), and go to my hostel to Check in. I see Achille, Amanda and Ruben at the hostel, and we go to dinner to celebrate the end of North Island! The Sriracha pizza is delicious.
Day 62: (January 5th) 7.1mi/11.4km Wellington CBD to North Island Terminus
I wake up late, and renew my bunk room for tonight. I leave most of my stuff in the room, and slackpack the 2 hours walk to the monument that marks the Terminus of the North Island.
The trail goes along the sea, and some city parks along the way.
And… the monument! North Island (and 1689km) is done!
Day 63: (January 6th) ZERO
I take a zero day today! No hiking, just relaxing. I stroll downtown, see the pedestrian mall, visit a museum, and go to the beach.
No photos today! I go to bed early, since the ferry leaves at 6:30am tomorrow. It will take us to south island, and we will resume hiking tomorrow afternoon. I can’t wait to see what SI will bring…