23 Oct 2017

90 Mile Beach

From The Long Way Home, 2:00 pm on 23 October 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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An image of a fellow trail walker in the distance on 90 Mile Beach.

A fellow trail walker on 90 Mile Beach. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

Loaded down under way too heavy a pack and with no small amount of nerves, Bruce Hopkins is underway!

During his first five days on Te Araroa - New Zealand's Trail, Bruce measures the length of 90 Mile Beach and meets a long distance cyclist.

He almost certainly doesn't find treasure on the beach but definitely does find some good kai moana. And the sandflies find him.

And he recalls some dangerous days as a commercial fisherman off the Northland coast.

Bruce Hopkins at Cape Reinga.

Bruce Hopkins at Cape Reinga. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

Bruce Hopkins Trail Diary - Week One 14-21 October 2017 Cape Reinga - Puketi Forest.

"Five days on 90 Mile Beach done. I am taking an early rest day here at Ahipara on Day Five, Wednesday 18 October 2017.

Bruce Hopkins at Cape Reinga holding the ashes of his father and brother.

Bruce Hopkins holding the ashes of his father and brother. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

Including myself six walkers of Te Araroa (TA) showed up here after a rugged 31km slog into a nasty wind that blasted sand into my face for eight hours at about 30+ knots.

A close up shot of Bruce Hopkins walking on 90 Mile Beach.

Bruce Hopkins on 90 Mile Beach. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

But the journey is underway and I will not be taking anything for granted. I am already uncovering some wonderful moments of connection with people and nature as well as some brutal encounters with what will be required in terms of perseverance over the next few months. It does feel great to have first 100km of coast & beach done & dusted.

Five days of slogging it through Northland forests from tomorrow to get to Kerikeri.”

The Long Way Home - whenua, whakapapa, whanau.

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

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