6 Nov 2017

Lost and Found

From The Long Way Home, 2:00 pm on 6 November 2017

Bruce Hopkins wants to take the ashes of his dad and brother home to Rakiura/Stewart Island. He’s just taking the long way to get there. The long, long way. 

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A panoramic view of a bay in Northland.

The beauty of the East Coast of Northland. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

It's week three and Bruce Hopkins has fallen in love again with Te Araroa - New Zealand's Trail. But does the trail love him back?

Bruce heads south out of Russell, trekking the east coast of Northland and aiming for Pakiri Beach. The punishing gravel roads are behind him and coastal trails with beautiful bays are ahead.

But is this a good time for him to relax and let down his guard? Maybe not...

Bruce Hopkins Trail Diary - Week Three

28 October – 4 November 2017

Helena Bay - Pakiri.

"The last week has been so packed full of variety. Amber and Mark gave me the pounamu I had lost on the second day of the trail. A french tramper named Antoine found it! Amber and Mark had also found my lost trail notes and maps and my missing hat!"

Retired railwayman Barry Coll poses next to his roadside stall in Northland.

Stallholder and former railwayman Barry Coll. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

"Spent the night in a stunning Waikahoa bay beach camp but I was vomiting all night having been given some day old unrefrigerated chicken by a well-meaning group of school teachers who were leaving the bay as we arrived."

An image of two abandoned vehicles in a field inHelena Bay.

Abandoned vehicles in Helena Bay. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

"Next day walked coastal track to Whananaki. Glorious."

A view up the trunk of Tane Moana.

Tane Moana. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

"I stayed with kiwi icons Malcolm and Melanie Rand at their eco village in Ngunguru. Walked to Pataua north to stay with Derek Barnston, a school friend I had not seen for 40 years. Derek and his wife Anne exemplify the spirit of trail angels. Five of us had a superb beer and lunch of fresh vegies out of the garden."

Trail Angels Ann and Derek provide refreshments for trail walkers.

Trail Angels Ann and Derek with trail walkers. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

"What happened in your week??? I'm raving, more to come."

The Long Way Home - whenua, whakapapa, whānau.

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Produced by Bruce Hopkins and Justin Gregory. Executive Producer Tim Watkin.

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