The Nydia Track is an easy two-day, 27 km walk. The track passes through regenerating bush, privately-owned farmland, and alongside the coast. It’s also used by mountain bikers, although we didn’t meet any this time.
Saturday was a lovely fine day and we began with a 10 minute boat ride from Havelock Marina to our drop-off at Shag Point – a real holiday start to the walk. From Shag Point we walked 3-4 km along an unsealed road to the start of the Nydia Track.
The walk to Kaiuma Saddle (387m) was a steady uphill, not too steep, and mostly under tree cover with occasional views through the trees. We stopped for lunch at the saddle and enjoyed the views back down the valley and ahead to Nydia Bay. On other side the track passed from forest down to farmland (where Gene was dive-bombed by a magpie), and a 1 km coastal walk to Nydia Lodge.
The DOC lodge is set in pleasant grounds, with lawns, native bush, and barbecue facilities. We fully appreciated the unaccustomed luxury of hot showers, flush toilets, electric lighting, and well-equipped kitchen. A path led to a jetty where Eleonora, Gene, Paul, and Sarah braved the cool waters – a very beautiful place! The local sand flies are very active – you need to be fast in slapping on the repellent.
Sunday began with steady light rain, making the clay track around the coast a bit slippery. The track meandered round the coast for about 4 km then it was uphill to Nydia Saddle (347m). Conditions on the saddle weren’t so nice for a break so we kept going down to Ngawhakawhiti Bay and followed the path another 2-3 km round the coast to the end of the track. It rained lightly most of the way from Nydia Lodge but cleared up by the time we arrived at our pickup point, Duncan Bay. Gene enjoyed a quick swim during our lunch break by the jetty. More sand flies, but another beautiful spot!
The backpacker lodge owner arrived in the club van and returned us to Havelock, with a short stop to take in the view from Opouri Saddle. Back in Havelock, we walked to the Slip Inn at the marina for leisurely mid-afternoon food and drinks. Mussels were a popular choice. A very nice end to an enjoyable weekend!
Our thanks to trip leader Mike, and also to Meena, who organised the trip but was unable to accompany us.
Also remember, take your water reservoir with you when you leave the backpacker lodge on Saturday morning. But, if you do forget, ensure that someone else in the group has a spare water bottle. All’s well that end’s well!