84 Days on the Road
We just can’t wait to get outside. We feel like kids again, trying to finish our work as quickly as possible and stuff down our cooked breakfast made by Pam and Ian at the Okiwi Bay Holiday Park, so we can go for a hike in the sun. Even just outside the lodge, we can hear the birds either enticing or taunting us to get outside immediately!
By 10am, we are ready to do a classic New Zealand activity, go for a hike. There is a hike up into the hills overlooking Okiwi Bay that we can take from Okiwi Bay, the Goat Hill Track. It’s a one way track, but when we go just happens to coincide with when Ian needs to drive to the recycling centre, so he gives us a drive up the road to start the track. Great timing! Now we can just enjoy the walk all the way back down to Okiwi Bay.
A weka welcomes us to the track
What is that bird? Laura asks as Ian drops us at the entrance of the Goat Hill Track.
That’s a wood hen, a weka! Ian replies. The flightless bird is scavenging in the bushes on the side of the road, probably digging for worms. It’s the perfect start to our hike to see this native New Zealand bird out in the wild!
Commenting in the visitor book
At the start of the hike is a visitor’s book inside a wooden box. A visitor book?! Is this a hotel or something?! We understand when these books are on long hikes so rangers can see who has used the track, if they returned safely and such like, but no, this is a floral printed visitor book. We add our comment of: Great hike, even though we literally just started. And Robin leaves a NZPocketGuide.com card in the box.
The plants are taking over the path!
It’s clear pretty quickly that this is not like the Department of Conservation walks we have done so far. There are no wide tracks with gravel and boardwalks. The Goat Hill Track is a more rugged sort of track in single file.
The plants are doing whatever they can to grow back across the path, giving the classic issue of the twigs and flax flapping into the face of the person walking behind.
By our feet, there are hundreds of ferns growing in a perfectly symmetrical circle, all looking shiny and brand new. This is because the forest is regenerating up here.
Glimpses of paradise
Through the trees, we keep getting glimpses of Okiwi Bay. Not only is the tiny settlement surrounded by majestic mountains, but the water is so so blue!
The goat Hill Lookout
15 minutes into the track, there’s a bench. You know what benches mean on top of a hill… Epic viewpoint! The sun is right ahead beaming down on the calm ocean waters. It’s so perfect! We can even see the lines of current in the water below. Three small islands dot the water and to our right we can see the long and rugged coastline that is French Pass, a journey we can’t wait to do tomorrow.
As we’re sat sunbathing on this mountain, a lady walking her dog appears and says the track is about to get wilder but: You’ll be Ok. What? How wild are we talking here?!
A storm’s destruction
We investigate ourselves, and, indeed, she was not lying. There must have been a storm here recently, which has pulled many of the large trees down. It’s not the tree trunks towering above us now, but the uplifted roots holding soil and rocks.
The track goes around them, then under other fallen tree, then over more fallen trees. Of course this sort of destruction is not great to see, but it does create adventurous terrain that is pretty fun to hike over.
Missing the hiking shoes…
We zigzag our way back down to Okiwi Bay on this wild track, trying to not slip on clay mud, especially as Laura’s hiking shoes are still wet from yesterday’s kayaking trip, so she is wearing cr*ppy Nike trail runners today. Plus, her ankles are starting to ache. This is why it’s so important to have a good pair of hiking shoes!
The friendliness of Kiwis
Now we are back on the road just a couple of kilometres outside of Okiwi Bay. The few people we see driving out of the village all wave at us. Gawd, Kiwis are so friendly!
Our after-hike treat is an ice cream from the Okiwi Holiday Park shop, the only shop in the village! It’s perfect to eat it just by the clear water stream that runs just past the holiday park.
A comforting roast!
This evening, we are treating to some amazing food thanks to Ian and Pam. There’s nothing more comforting than sitting in a warm lodge with the fire burning, eating pork belly, roast potatoes, roast kumara, vegetables and GRAVY! Laura is particularly excited about the gravy.
Ian and Pam have been incredible hosts for the past couple of nights, they have even organised for us to hire some kayaks tomorrow morning! After that, we are spending the night on D’urville Island, all the way at the end of the famously scenic French Pass. It’s a big day tomorrow. Bring it on!
Really? You do! That makes us so happy. Check out these articles:
- Marlborough – Guide for Backpackers
- How to Choose a Good Pair of Hiking Boots
- 22 Stunning Beaches in New Zealand
And don’t forget to follow us and all the pretty pictures of Okiwi Bay on Instagram. We also post everything New Zealand on Facebook. Finally, find us on HerePin to meet other travellers and even join us on hikes like the one we did today!
See you tomorrow!