The final day of 2017 and the first day of 2018 were two of the easiest days we had during our New Zealand adventure.
December 31st, 2017, was only a 14km day from Kakaho Campsite to the aptly name Bog Inn Hut (located almost directly in the centre of the North Island).
And January 1st, 2018, proved to be somewhat easier again as we entered The Timber Trail roughly 20kms into this 85km trail.
But first, let’s go through day 5.
In and Out of the Shade of Adventure
While our bodies weren’t exactly breaking down on us, it was still nice to have somewhat of a rest day on day 5.
By this stage, we had already hiked 112kms from Matamata to Kakaho Campsite in reasonably hot conditions, so 14kms in mostly forest terrain was a nice change.
Apart from the Hauhungaroa Trail – which was the final 1km of our day – the path follows a metalled road up until the final few kilometres before it becomes dense green forest terrain.
If you’ve been following this blog for some time now, you may have read a blog I wrote about what I believe is the best way to overcome being lost.
This day back in 2015 was the basis for this blog article as we had become separated for just over 24 hours from our friend, Keith.
Keith ended up at Bog Inn Hut for the night rather than the lunch stop we had planned, while myself, Nelson and Matt wandered through a cut-down forest for a part of the day.
You can read more about our adventure within an adventure in the link above but we did end up making it to the Waihaha Hut that day.
Anyway, during this adventure, there was no way in hell we were going to become lost or separated again so we stuck to each other like glue!
Once we got out of the forest, we did enter into the cut-down forest again but navigated the path reasonably well and then back into the forest to make our way to the Bog Inn Hut where we would spend New Year’s Eve.
This four bunk hut is an absolute little gem but also incredibly basic.
If you find the hut full when you arrive, there is plenty of room outside of the hut for you to pitch a tent.
While there is a tank there, like most, don’t rely on there being water readily available to you. Please ensure you bring enough with you if you ever visit.
If you do happen to run out, there are a few accessible streams on The Timber Trail; with the closest located at the Harrisons Creek Rest Area which is also the 27km of the trail.
The Timber Trail
I can’t speak for the other two lads, but I was personally excited about hiking The Timber Trail.
The thing about an adventure such as this is that you are basically piecing together various trails and routes to create a custom-made adventure.
There were a few other ways we could have taken but taking The Timber Trail would link us up to the 42 Traverse and then into the Tongariro National Park.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined just how good it was going to be.
Whilst we only did 60 out of the 85kms, I feel as though we experienced the best that it had to offer.
In total, it has 35 bridges linking the trail together, with eight of them being suspension bridges and one of them – the Maramataha Bridge – standing 50ms off the river and 140ms in length.
You will easily spend 10-15 minutes of your time at each of these suspension bridges taking plenty of photos as they are all amazing to look at.
Secondly, and almost more importantly, what I like most about The Timber Trail is that it’s well-signed (there’s a marker at every kilometre), the path is wide (it’s mainly used by mountain bike riders) and there are plenty of huts and campsites.
As a side note, if you ever end up doing the Te Araroa Trail, you will come through here as part of it.
Our destination for January 1st was going to be the Piro Piro campsite – a free campsite located 40kms into the trail.
You’ll never struggle to get a spot to pitch your tent here such is the size of this campsite.
There are also several shelters and picnic tables underneath located across the grounds which makes it an ideal spot should the rain set it in (like it did for us!).
There’s also a tank where you can source water from which further adds to just how good this campsite really is.
We ended up walking roughly 20kms on Day 6 which brought us up to 132kms and Day 7 aka our rest day.
As previously mentioned, by no means were our bodies breaking down on us (in fact, the complete opposite), but it was nice to be able to stop and stay in one spot for a day to relax and really enjoy our surroundings.
What Did We Learn
A rest day comes in two forms: an actual rest day but also a day where you are doing significantly fewer kilometres than you normally would.
It sounds a little odd but I treated Day 5 of our trip as a rest day for a number of reasons.
On average, I can do anywhere from 3.5-5km per hour, so a 14km day wasn’t so bad compared to what we had been doing in the days prior.
We also started at around 7am that day, really took our time and from memory, we made it to Bog Inn Hut just before 12pm.
It was just as enjoyable as our actual rest day on Day 7 at Piro Piro Campsite.
P.S. Jamiesons Irish Whiskey goes incredibly well with hot chocolate 😉
Google Maps – Kakaho Campsite to Bog Inn Hut – 14kms