Day 31: Second Zero in Auckland
Sunday, December 10, 2023 9:30 pm
Location: 631.3 km

Today, an unplanned zero marks our last full day in Auckland, and the beginning of my second month on the Te Araroa.

Neither of us were feeling especially great today, so we opted to take an unplanned zero to rest up.

Our plan for the day originally was to take a bus back to the airport, hike to either Papakura or Drury, and take the bus back to Auckland. Then, tomorrow, we’d do our resupply in the morning, mail out some things for the South Island to Wellington, and go back and continue on for a half-day.

Not wanting to be “stuck” in Auckland for too long, we decided not to slackpack the next section from the airport to Durry, and instead just hike there. That’ll save us a couple of hours on the bus, and get us back into the proper mindset quicker.

  • I finally purchased a DOC Hut pass, good for six months. It hasn’t been necessary yet, but there are a few huts on the North Island we might use, and I’ll use it extensively on the South Island.
  • We also finally planned out the next section, to Hamilton, the next large city we hike through. We’ll plan for four days from Auckland to Huntly, where we can resupply, and then another two days to Hamilton. Most of this next section is roadwalk. We expect to up our pace a bit; so far, we’ve averaged 21 km/day, which is only 13 mi/day. We should be going faster than that.
  • We went to the food store to resupply, and also got sandwich material for tonight and tomorrow.
  • A bit less than halfway through the North Island, I’m swapping out my boots for a new pair. This is a little early, but with a 100 km kayak segment coming up where I won’t be using my boots, this saves the hassle of mailing a new pair to Hamilton, or a little further ahead than that.
  • We repacked our packs, and I set aside some things to mail ahead to Wellington for the South Island. This includes my third pair of shoes, and a pair of wool pants in case it gets cold in the Southern Alps.