After brunch at Friend of the Farmer in Takaini, we headed off to Duder Regional Park located in Whitford which is also not too far from where I live (but probably will be if you’re from the Central Auckland area). At first, I despaired that the weather was not as sunny as the forecast had promised, but as we trekked on, I was immensely grateful for clouds and gentle gusts of wind- whilst the walk was definitely not intensive, some parts were slightly steep enough to get your heart palpitating a little (but then again, it might have been because I’m pretty unfit).
There are a few pathways you can choose and we decided to go for the Farm Loop which takes approximately 2 hours according to the info site. Despite that, we somehow managed to complete it in one hour which makes me question whether we really were on the right track or not. I’m pretty sure we followed the indicated coloured poles but we weren’t rushing the journey either so…
There’s something extremely liberating about traipsing through the sprawling hills with no other human in sight, especially when the trail on the grass is barely there in some areas. It felt like we were on a real adventure!
There are a few picnic tables scattered here and there throughout which would make the most epic picnic locations- if you’re willing to haul along a picnic basket full of food and drinks for the entire duration that is. P.S. The weather looks rather dauntingly cloudy in the photos but that’s because I increased the shadows while editing them. It was actually quite balmy that day.
I was eagerly anticipating the encounters of cattle upon our journey but they were strangely absent the whole time. It wasn’t until we reached the beginning again that we saw the all the sheep slowly herding themselves near the parking lot to who knows where. Talk about bad timing but hey, nature waits for no one.