As I mentioned before, Jesse and I camped by The Old Ghost Road, so before setting off to find the Heaphy Track, we did a short walk on the trail (realizing we should have devoted some serious time to it because it was really quite cool). It’s an old gold miner’s road and at 80 km long, it is New Zealand’s longest single track trail…and you can mountain bike on it! Mountain bikes are also allowed on the Heaphy Track and we were kicking ourselves a little for sending our bikes back to Christchurch with our friends. Oh well.
In true New Zealand fashion, our car became filled with sand flies as we packed up and in an attempt to get them out, we drove with the windows down. We then realized it was only pushing them to the back of the car so we stopped and were able to wipe a book along the back window to kill literally dozens at a time! Those things are vicious and are excellent at hiding.
Continuing on, feeling safe from the sand flies, we drove as far as the road goes up the west coast; past Karamea, winding our way through the beautifully lush hills, catching glimpses of the ocean. It was truly remote up there, the campground littered sparsely with tents and the trail was quiet. We were only doing a day hike because we had weekend plans, and so we began. I love the variety of surface types this trail featured. Let’s retrace my steps, shall we?
And here are photos from the rest of our expedition!
We trekked up to the Katipo Shelter and it took us exactly 2.5 hours to get there as the DOC sign promised. But that includes some play time on the deserted beach!
We didn’t see much wildlife, save for a weka making a mess (I have a video of him, but have yet to figure out how to imbed them on my blog. Sorry!). But we saw a caution sign for snails – and one was featured on the post for us!
Some stats from our grand day:
Time & distance on foot: 5 hours; 15 miles / 24 kilometers.
Time & distance in the car: 8.5 hours; 385 miles / 620 kilometers