All posts filed under: Health

Foraging in the Waitakere Rainforest

I’m taking friends out on a guided hike today, they are keen to explore the Waitakere rainforest and I’m keen to show them how bountiful the bush can be if you know what you’re looking for.  We are hiking the Upper Huia Dam Track It’s been raining heavily the last few days, the track is rougher than usual.  We look like ballerina’s leaping through the bush, or maybe we look like monkeys swinging from branches trying not to get our boots stuck in the mud.   Above us we can hear the Tui singing and a Kereru watching us plot our way through the mud.  The Miromiro ahead of us darts back and forward guiding us along the track. It’s an advanced walk, even if you are fit it can still be challenging.  I met two groups of people turning back warning me that the track is too difficult and muddy.  This is true if you are unfamiliar with the Waitakere Ranges, some of these tracks will put many people off.  It’s not a track for …

A 2am arrival at the woolshed to have our blisters looked at.

How to get through the 100km Oxfam Challenge

For years I’d wanted to enter the Oxfam Challenge, not just for charity (because that in itself is a big motivator) but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  I’m not unfit, nor am I very fit.  However, 100 km’s is a long way and I didn’t have anyone to do it with until one of my friends had to pull out of the event and I happily signed up.  I had three great team members who were encouraging, considerate and they’d all done this before.  I was the newbie. I didn’t get a lot of sleep before the race, I was too excited and I wanted to be sick. Knowing that your going to be walk for the next 30 hours is daunting.  I’d gone over the route so many times in my head.  I’d learnt every part of the track, the altitude and the different terrain.  I studied the weather and knew that it was going to be humid (uncomfortable) and possibly rain.  Rain I can handle, I live …

Omanawanui – Gibbons Track – Walker Ridge Tracks

This is one of my favourite loops in the Waitakere Ranges.   Time: The times on the signs would suggest 7hrs.  If you are a faster walker you can do this in 3 – 5 hours of actual walking. Definitely allow more time for stops and time exploring the caves at Whatipu Distance: 14.5km Start & Finish: Mt Donald Mclean Road, Huia – Auckland ViewRanger App Route: http://my.viewranger.com/route/details/NzczNzQ= Auckland city and head for Mt Donald Mclean Road – 50 minute drive. Puriri Ridge Track – 2km.  This is a nice gentle start to an early morning, its mostly along the ridge and downhill. Once at the road cross over and head along Omanawanui Track. Omanawanui Track – 3km.  Walking along the cliffs to see some amazing views of Manukau harbour and Whatipu.  This was probably one of the most beautiful tracks I’ve been on in the Waitakere’s because of the views.  Stunning! Some of it is steep. Manukau Heads Whatipu – Camping Ground.   This has all of the facilities needed and the scenery is magic. Handy to all …

Te Hapu Bay

After a whole year in Auckland, I can finally escape the traffic, the paleo cafes, the smell of coffee  and parking fines.  Boxing Day 2014, I fly to the Nelson to be with family.  The next day we load up the Ute and then we are gone!… off to the West Coast, South Island.  It takes about 3 hours and the last hour is dirt road, how I just love a dirt road.   Sliding the Ute on the dirt, making dust trails behind me, knowing that there is hardly anyone on that road.  The road into Te Hapu Bay is steep in places, if you weren’t already intimidated by the dirt road this will test you.  If you’ve grown up in the country, you are home! Te Hapu, this is my chill out Bach! I’m surrounded by my family, friends, the rugged west coast weather, Texas Holdem Poker!  I need this time to reset, to think, to rest.  

Omaio Bay

Te Huinga (Jack) Karauna… my Nana Pa, built this little bach for my Nanny Rima and his whanau. They have both since passed but the memories are still very close, both very loving people who taught me a lot about living off the land. Omaio is a secluded bay and remains as it was yesterday, there are no beach front developments and I’m yet to see a yuppie walking with latte in one hand and cell phone in the other.  The locals are friendly, most of them speak Te Reo which was so beautiful to hear.  The weather is hot.   There is no shower, there is a creek! There is no cell phone reception here, you are completely oblivious to what is going on in society, which is fantastic!   There is no power,  this makes you get up, go collect Kai Moana (Seafood), go for walks, talk to people and at night, you play cards next to the candle and you write the scores on the back of a beer box!  … this is my family bach in Omaio Bay, …