30th November

41.7km

Piropiro Campsite 964.4km to Bennett road Shelter 1006.1.

It was a peaceful morning. No wind and gray sky greeted me with the morning bird calls. One thing about the Timber Trail, it makes for easy hiking. The miles came easy on the easy graded trail. There are no steep hills, puddles of mud or water crossings.

More suspension bridges over the many deep. My fear of heights did not kick in as bad as it did yesterday.

The Timber trail is a multi use trail. Several cyclists passed us during the morning. The trail is 80km (50 miles) and with easy grades. In fact it’s more of a cycling trail than hiking trail. Te Araroa hikers make up the majority of the people hiking the Timber Trail.

10am photo below

A lot of the trail follows very old logging roads and early railroads. The geology of the area is at times unstable. Many places are prone to landslides or falling rocks. Us poor hikers can’t race through the area like cyclists.

One section of trail follows an old railway line that had to make a confusing turn through a tunnel. As the rest of this trail is rather unstable I suspect a lot of work had to go into ensuring the tunnel was safe. Imagine 60 years ago as a trail hauling logs went into this tunnel.

Late in the afternoon I kept an eager eye on my Guthook Navigation app. The app ticked over to 1000km. One third of the trail completed. I want to finish this trail in under 4 months. If I keep up this pace it looks likely to be a likely event.

With an hour till sunset we arrived at the campground that signaled the end of the Timbet Trail. Three Scottish hikers were there. We’ve been bumping into each other since I met them at my first camp on day 1.

I will be faced with making some important decisions tomorrow. These decisions will likely see me heading into remote trails and alpine sections alone. But it’s the weather forecast that is worrying me the most.

For those of you that live vicariously through my travels would you like me to send you a postcard from New Zealand? I have set up a Patreon site with various levels of support. For those that would like to help out with my journey, I can give something in return. Thank you in advance. https://www.patreon.com/bikehikesafari


You might like to read:

Complete Te Araroa Trail
Te Araroa Trail Gear List
Lightweight Hiking Gear List


6 Responses

  1. Marc aka 10-Speed

    Looks like the trail changed a lot since 2015? We were just a short time on the timber trail but then in stunning Pureora Forest! Was one of the good parts on North Island!

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      The trail has changed twice since I started hiking. There are trail closures, new routes to try and get off highways and farmers that allow access then take it away. I think it will be 10 years before things are a bit more settled

      Reply
      • Marc aka 10-Speed

        I just wonder why they changed to a boring cycling trail like the timber trail, when there is one of the best adventures section on the north island through the Pureora Forest…

      • BikeHikeSafari

        I believe it was because it removed all the busy roadwalking after the trail. The Timber Trail was great, not boring at all. Only saw 10 cyclists in 80km. And the roadwalk into Taumaranui was on quiet back roads. Maybe 2 cars in 3 hours. One thing about hiking the TA, there is always a lot of “I wonder why the trail go there” questions. Maybe in 10 years we’ll find out.

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