Trip Prep – Ahipara to Kerikeri
Length: 91km / 4 -5days
Accommodation: Established campsites seem to be rare in this section apart from on the Puketea Ridge Track and Puketotara Connection Bypass where there are a handful of DoC campsites. Night one is likely to be spent at the end of the Herekino Track somewhere – if allowed. Night two at Mangamuka Bridge where there is a hotel (and maybe somewhere for me to camp). Night three (and maybe four) along the Omahuta Puketi Forest Track. And night four / five will be in Kerikeri where there is a plethora of accommodation options including the Kerikeri Farm Hostel and Hone Heke Lodge.
Night 1 - Freedom camping on the Herkino Track
Night 2 - Ideally camping adjacent to the Mangamuka Bridge Hotel
Night 3 - Freedom camping on the Omahuta Puketi Forest Track
Night 4 - Puketi Hut
Night 5 - Hostel accommodation in Kerikeri
Water availability: It seems most of this section of track runs through forest and farmlands. Therefore, there shouldn’t be much trouble getting water from streams. It also passes through a few small settlements which are likely to have a tap or two.
Food drops / services: I will restock by food drop in Ahipara with 5-days of food. I may eat a fresh meal at Mangamuka Bridge Hotel, depending on how vegan friendly they are of course. Kerikeri has full services so I won’t bother with a food drop. Plus the stretch between Kerikeri and Paihia is short (1-day) so there isn’t need for much of a restock. Plus, on my way from Auckland to Cape Reinga, prior to starting the track, I will be staying a few nights in Paihia so that gives me the opportunity of dropping off some supplies, i.e. bulk lentils, rice, and cheap bits and pieces I buy in Auckland. I am sure the prices are going to be higher in a town the size of Paihia if it works anything like it does here in Australia.
Coming soon – Kerikeri to Matapouri