Day 12

There are a couple of options when leaving Paihia. Either take a small passenger ferry to Russell and walk the roads or board a sea kayak and paddle with the incoming tide to Waikare. I opted for the second.

My recent walking buddies joined me, along with a few extras, making a total of 9 of us. For reasons that are still not 100% clear, I ended up in the only single kayak. I got to do a little more paddling than everyone else. We had a beautiful day for the trip, the sun was shinning and we had a gentle breeze over our shoulder (for most of the way). Navigation was relatively easy, and we mostly followed the instructions from Nick, our friendly owner of the kayak rental shop. I had pre-loaded the course onto my watch, so that also aided in navigation. We ended up paddling for 13 kms.

After a couple of hours and a nice lunch stop in the middle, we all paddled through the mangroves and successfully found the end of the estuary and our kayak drop off point. It was nice to experience this part of the walk on water.

Enjoying the morning before the kayak. Coffee and muffin on the beach.
9 people, 5 kayaks, 4 doubles and 1 single.
Mid-station lunch stop.
My stead. Navigation instructions included.