Farewell Sydney, hello New Zealand!

Coming to you from Pukenui, New Zealand! After months of researching, planning and organising it feels surreal to be sitting in a campground in Northland, a short 30 minute drive away from Cape Reinga, the start of our Te Araroa Journey.

The last 4 days have been a whirlwind. Between Adam finishing up at work on Thursday, us moving out of our apartment on Friday and Leigh doing a two day navigation course in the Blue Mountains over the weekend, we couldn’t have packed much more into our last week in Australia.

Our beautiful friends Polly and Michael puts us up on Sunday night, feeding us pizza and wine and helping us out the door on time for our early Monday morning flight.

After a short 3 hour flight across the ditch, we jumped off the plane and swiftly over to baggage collection. Just as we spotted our bags on the carousel Leigh felt a sense of dread with the realisation that her phone was hiding neatly in the seat pocket on the plane. More than just our access to money, social media and the outside world this phone holds all of our navigation notes for the trail. Luckily saved by an angel from airport services, the phone was intercepted before it was held captive on a return flight to the Gold Coast. After a nervous hour waiting for the return of the phone we were relieved to proceed through customs and be on our way. A thorough bio-security check of our boots and tent and we were on our way.

Monday night was spent stocking up on supplies in Auckland, and this morning we jumped on an early bus to Kaitaia. Six and a half hours later we arrived, still needing to find a way to make the final 100km or so up to Cape Reinga to start the trail. Receiving our first dose of kiwi hospitality we were intercepted by Nicola from tourist information, who offered us a lift halfway.

This is how we find ourselves in Pukenui. We will spend the night here and aim hitchhike the rest of the way up to Cape Reinga early tomorrow morning to start our hike.

Wish us luck!

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