We are in Wellington, the unofficial halfway point. Unofficial, because we are in fact over half way, but we've reached the end of the north island. It was a long last few days with lots of road walking and a very steep, surprisingly difficult last 15 km through Wellington. Our plan was to be on the 9am ferry this morning, but after a mix up with the post office, our box with shoes, maps, stove, etc didn't arrive, and today is a holiday in NZ, so we're in Wellington for another day and hoping our package will be here tomorrow morning.
|Yesterday we completed the North Island!|
|TA plaque at the North Island terminus|
When I last posted, we were just heading out for 5 days along the Whanganui river. The trail is officially marked along the river and there are different options from 1 to 7 days along the river by canoe or kayak. We chose to canoe about 170km, and we had a fantastic time. The river was faster and stronger than I'd thought, and quickly discovered it was much more difficult than I'd thought to canoe down rapids. We never tipped over, but there were several close encounters with rocks, sticks and trees.
Part of The Whanganui river is considered one of NZ's 'Great Walks' so for the first two days we saw lots of people. The last few days however, were much quieter and we had the river pretty much to ourselves. The river is beautiful and rich in history. It winds its way through the remote landscape, emptying into the Tasman sea in the city of Wanganui. It was significant to Maori and early settlers as a main transport route, but now much of the area is completely uninhabited as the landscape is too steep and rugged to be farmed.
|Paddling down the Wanganui|
|Thank you Sally for the best trail magic!|
|At a hut with Julia who is hiking the TA in sections|
|Swing bridge over Otaki River, exiting the Tararuas|
|View to the South Island from beach campsite north of Wellington|
-Jetpack and Brazil Nut