To Auckland

Day 26 and 27

It would take 2 more days to walk to Auckland city. The first day to Stillwater and the second day along the costal path and the north shore beaches. The forecast for heavy rain never eventuated, which is a good thing. As the first day would be very easy, I took a substantial breakfast in Orewa and waiting until the rain stopped before setting off, around 10 am. The morning was spent talking with other walkers. The reason for the first short day, only 17 kms, is another low tide crossing, which will occur at 7 am the following morning. An evening crossing is not as safe and once on the other side, there is nowhere to stay, so it has to be tomorrow. Unfortunately this makes tomorrow a longer day.

There was a 4km stretch of road walking that most people hitch, as the road is narrow and winding. But, I decided to walk the road, as the day was short enough as it was. And I might be an EFI!1 The walk into Silverdale was nice enough, through a local park. The shops at Silverdale were impressive, but as Auckland is only 1 day away, no need for any shopping here. Steffen and I bumped into each other on the edge of Silverdale, as we were both seeking shelter from a brief rain shower. Stillwater is a quiet and lonely little place. The Holiday Park is full of permanents, but they allow us TA walkers to stay for the night for a measly $10, which includes a hot shower. Stillwater does have a boat club, and a local signed us into the club, and were able to get a few beers and a burger. And got to talk to some locals.

We had planned to setoff at 6am, which meant the alarm was set for 5am. The low tide crossing was at 7 am, but it would take us around an hour to get to the estuary. Like all other low tide crossings, it is best to do this with others. Ruth, Elliot and myself made the crossing together. This time is was nearly to our waist. At least the backpack stayed dry.

The rest of the day was spent walking along the North Shore Costal walk, which is 23 kms long and stretches from Long Bay to the Auckland ferry at Devonport. And this route is quite varied, from cliff tops, beaches and road walking. Most importantly there are cafes all along the route. And with the early start, breakfast was top of mind. Ruth, Elliot had pre-planned our first cafe stop the night before. Over breakfast we planned our lunch stop.

The walking was enjoyable, and the kilometers quickly counted down. The rain mainly stayed away, except it poured down while I was on the ferry, so that was very nice timing indeed. Once the ferry arrived in Auckland, I said goodbye to Ruth and Elliot, although I knew I would see them tomorrow, for a final coffee. Steffen and Phil also joined the goodbye. Everyone got to meet Caroline, which was nice as they often heard me talk about her at the trail campsites.

Plan to Complete Hamilton to Auckland at the start of 2024, likely February. And then the other sections will follow in the coming years. Very much enjoyed this first section of the first section. The trail was good to me.

Long Bay. The estuary crossing from Stillwater is behind the 2nd head.
Breakfast at the first cafe on route. We deserved it.
Brown’s Bay.
Murrays Bay Beach
Campbells Bay. And a chance to air dry my feet.
Lunch at Takapuna. Beef salad, very nice indeed.
Auckland, just a short ferry ride away.
Reunited with Caroline, who supplied me with real clothes. Dinner in this fine pub. Also, not sure why legs are shorter than normal?

  1. EFI is someone that walks the entire trail. It stands for “Every Fucking Inch”. ↩︎