17 January 2021
Low tide at Mangakuri was at 3.30 so it was a 10.00 start from Te Aute Road. The road trip was via Middle Road. This trip was the van’s first trip off the sealed road which it handled well. A group of 5 of us started walking from the Okura Road end of Mangakuri Beach at 11.15. We had met a couple of locals who were walking their dog and were advised that some of the rocks were rather challenging. The first half of an hour was along wet sand with the tide just going out. We walked passed a flock of dotterels which we were told that were resident to Mangakuri. The first lot of rocks were well rounded and quite easy to walk over. The further down the coast we walked the more jagged and rough edged they became.
With it being a late start; lunch came fairly early in the tramp which was taken on a grassy plateau above a rocky beach. After a couple of hours Anne and Lex returned to Mangakuri to drive the 29km on the gravel of Mangakuri Road to Pourerere. Jo, Susan and I continued the rock hopping and beach walking. Jo, who didn’t use tramping poles, had a very effective way of keeping her balance with both arms outstretched.
On one long stretch of sand there is a group of large blue and red chairs. There was no time to investigate as we were still some distance from Paoanui Point. Four hours from Mangakuri was the last rock pile. At this point we encountered vehicles which had come from Pourerere. After 5 hours we rounded the Paoanui Point where the beach is a flat bed of rock which is easy to navigate both on foot and in a vehicle point. The promised cup of coffee after we rounded the point did not eventuate as it started to rain. Not being able to see the buildings of Pourerere we were uncertain of how much further we had to walk. However they soon came into sight. The final part of our tramp was over the lagoon outlet and up to the van. The journey had taken us 5 hours 40 minutes.
Party: Lex S, Susan L, Jo P, Anne S , Anne D