I don’t know how to describe these forests best for you, but I think a killing psychopath comes close. They invite you in, welcoming with a gentle path, charming and pleasing you with the sounds of birds and sight of beautiful plants and trees. When entering Raetea, the track was wider and easier to navigate than in Herikino. For a second, Raetea even lured me in thinking that its forest would be enjoyable. Yes, that is how manipulative Raetea is.
Why oh why tramping Herikino?
“Doing it all”: I think the feeling of doing an entire thru hike lured me into starting in the North of New Zealand instead of sticking to my original plan of hiking New Zealand’s south island only. Tempted by “not wanting to miss out” on kauri trees, beach walking, Maori culture, Tongariro National Park – where Frodo destroyed the ring – and more, I ignored the amount of road walking and bush tramping, despite knowing that I’m not particularly a forest girl.
There are two types of hikers: beach trampers and forest trampers. Right from the start, the first sections of the Te Araroa – a 3000-kilometres-long trail in New Zealand – will determine in which camp you belong.
Without doubt, I’m a beach tramper (kiwi for “hiker”). This means that I’d rather walk the first 100 kilometres along the beach a second time than ever doing the brutal forests once again. Forest trampers and I totally disagree on this subject as they were totally wrecked by the beach.
I’m freaking out. I bought a plane ticket to New Zealand. So what? That’s nothing to freak out about. I know, but I’m planning to hike there. Yeah, of course, New Zealand is a hiker’s dream come true. Well, I’m going to hike the length of New Zealand for 5 months continuously. From Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south, following the Te Araroa Trail. Can you see why I’m freaking out?!