After I had returned from Fiji I only had a few days left before it was time to say good bye. Fortunately I was quite busy and did not have too much time to think about it though. It was time to catch up, talk and say good bye to as many as possible friends who I had met along this journey. Even Team NOBO had a little reunion.

But definitely not limited to this team – I tried to catch up with many of the TA companions, friends, trail angels and extended (new) family members. Also my new sister was back in town on Monday so we caught up before she went back home to Melbourne. Will see you in Aussie, sis! I am so glad to have an enlarged Kiwi family all over the country. I miss you already. Thank you again for everything and contributing to this amazing half year. The good news is – I have so many reasons to come back now, it will definitely happen.

But it was also time to organise the last things in town. Couldn’t leave the city without getting a proper hipster beard oil to make sure I do look shiny and slick for my upcoming adventure.

And it was also time to say good bye to some of my favourite places, like the “scarecrow”. It is definitely the cafe I have spent most time of my life in. Thanks for being great hosts, letting me do my “typing” and the great food and coffee! Alison and Paul – your place has been and inspiration!


On Wednesday I finally made it to Rangitoto! Rangitoto is a very young, only 600 year old, volcanic island just off the shore of Auckland. I have looked it so many times from the city, my favourite cafes in Takapuna and also when I passed through Auckland on Te Araroa. It felt so amazingly great to be back in nature. I really felt how much I was missing the trail, the outdoors and the exercise. Rangitoto is cleared from all introduced pests and hosts a variety of native birds, including the saddleback, kiwi and kaka.

And guess what – the trail markers were back!!! What a relief!


I sat on top of the crater for probably two hours watching the clouds pushing in and over the city. It was quite spectacular.

But there and especially on the way back I realised that it again was the last time of many things. Coming into the city, walking along certain streets, the wharf, the harbour bridge and much more. Auckland has become home in a way. It feels right. And it probably also stands for way more than the city itself as the beginning and end of my journey through New Zealand. Many great people and places I do share memories for life now with. I actually don’t want to leave.


I guess this is is why it is good that I have already booked the ticket and I can’t get out of this anymore. It feels way too good and if I stay any day longer I will probably not continue with my journey anymore.