Waitakere Ranges: Muddy Hike on the Hillary Trail

Our first sunny Saturday! (Seriously, it’s been SO rainy here.)

We planned for a full day of hiking in the Waitakere Ranges. This is the same region where we did our short rainy tramp a couple weeks back, and less than an hour from our house.

We’d heard amazing things about the Hillary Trail, but to do the entire hike would take four days. We opted for one of the most breathtaking portions called the Te Henga Walkway, which is an 8km walk from Bethells Beach to just south of Muriwai – and back!

But not just any walk… Except for a the northern end that curves back inland (which we actually cut out), the entire trail follows the cliffside with amazing views of the beaches and turquoise water below. It not only alternates between steep climbs and descents, but goes through pastures full of livestock, and an option to stop and rest at a beach (O’Neill’s Bay) to watch surfers. Oh, and there was a lot of mud.

We’ve done a lot of hiking together, but agree that this is one of the prettiest and most dramatic trails we’ve seen.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Side note: The Hillary Trail is named after Sir Edmund Hillary, a legend in NZ (and one of TIME’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century). He’s the country’s most famous explorer and mountaineer, and one of the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest. But with all the 2016 US election news, we were singing Shimmy Shimmy Hillary the whole way 🙂  Woo, okay!

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