Distance today: 45.0km
Distance total: 709.7km
Time hiked: 11h 52min
Time total: 210h 01min
The first things to do today: picking up my Bounce Box, so I can take out my printrd trail notes and maps for the next part to Taumarunui and send the box there. Unfortunately, it's only possible to pick up my box. The Post Shop itself (where I can drop it again) won't open within the next two hours. So, with my box under my arm, I continue on the trail for a few kilometers, until I reach the hospital, where the Post Shop is already up and running.
It's a fabulous day for hiking. Just a few cumulus clouds with a little wind, around 20 degrees Celsius. Perfect!
The first highlight of today: Mt. Eden. Superb views of Auckland from the top of the distinct volcano. Hiking through the city along the Coast to Coast traio goes very easily. Especially when entering Cornwall Park. With spring in full swing, everything blossoms. Especially the cherry blossoms are amazing. Glad to finally admire them (missed them twice in Japan and then in Korea...). The park is simply a real gem in an otherwise ugly, faceless city. Sorry to use these hard words but I just don't get to like Auckland...
The rest of the day is basically walking all along the cost towards the airport, leaving the city behind. I pass a massive sewage treatment plant, which, when releasing treated water into the outgoing tide, creates the temporarily largest river of New Zealand (or was it the North Island?!? Anyway, it's a huge amount of water!).
As I'm not in a hurry at all, I take the time to read some of the many information boards about the birds that can be found here. Some of them, similar to Europe, only spend the winter here. During the summer months the migrate to the South Island or even further down south towards the Antarctica.
Just before reaching the airport, I resupply for the next 4 days (planned 3 days to Mercer plus 1 as back up). With the heavy backpack I continue to Auckland's international terminal. Not that many sleeping possibilities but I'm optimistic that I will find something decent once the airport gets quieter.
Sleeping at the airport. Even though it's loud, bright, uncomfortable and there's the risk of your stuff being stolen, I have done it more than a dozen times and always liked it nonetheless. This time will probably be no different.