I am lying here in bed on my final evening as Camp Host here at Akapoua Bay on Aotea Great Barrier Island thinking “Wow time does fly when you are having fun.”
It has been 4 weeks and two days since I arrived and I remember thinking that it could well be a very long summer, but it has really passed quickly and I have had a lot of fun, met some great people and decided that I might just come back next year for another go round.
Yesterday after a bit of a kayak on the harbour…
I decided to go for a wander around Warrens Loop Track again and then on to Port Fitzroy
and have myself a burger at The Hub. I had heard that the burgers were very good and indeed they are. The beef comes from the South Island and the buns come from a small bakery in Masterton. Well worth the trip to the village.
So after a day all by myself I had a pair of kayakers, one from Sweden and one from North America in for the evening and tonight I have a guy in who is replacing some of the information boards on the tracks.
After my burger I returned to camp but the weather was superb and I decided that a dip in the waterfall was called for so had a wander back up and had a bit of a soak. Tried to take some pictures…
On returning to camp I saw a man acting rather strangely and so I went over to discover that he was testing the fire equipment. He had the pump down by the stream and was about to give it it’s monthly test.
So this morning has been a bit of a tidy up around the bus, starting to pack up stuff and break out the camping and tramping gear ready for my trip around the Aotea Track. I have decided that I will head to the Kaiaraara hut after dinner on the first night, it is only about an hours walk from Akapoua Bay. Then on down to The Green camp site and then up the Tramline Track to Mt Heale Hut and then after a quick side trip up Mt Hobson back to Kaiaraara Hut to complete the loop.
From there I will have a couple of days rest and recovery and then decide what to do next. I sail on Friday 30th Jan from Tryphena back to Hobson Wharf at 3pm.
The weather had been just glorious, with the awning up and the side wall on, there has been a wonderful place to sit in the shade with a breeze blowing thorough keeping the worst of the heat at bay. My duties have been very easy to accomplish first thing and the meet and greet and information part has been done throughout the day and it has been a great time. I have learnt a lot about the island, the human inhabitants (all 800 permanent residents), the wildlife and the changing vistas as the tides come in and out. I will certainly miss the bird calls in the morning and evening, the tui, kingfisher, kaka and even the soft coo of the kereru as they forage in the puriri tree above me.
Still, I have another 10 days before I leave and there is loads to see and do, including lunch at Whangaparapara tomorrow with Alistair and Geoff from DoC, Brett from EnviroKiwi, and the other camp hosts, Nick from Awana, Catherine from Medlands and Tanya from Harataonga Campsite.
It really has been a great experience and I would encourage anyone who might even be vaguely interested to give it a go, there are a load of campsites around NZ looking for volunteer hosts over the summer.
Safe travels everyone.