Stratford Stroll

On our last full day in Taranaki, Andy and I decided to brave the rain and do a hike along the Waingongoro River right outside of Stratford. One of the benefits of going out on a wet day is that you have the place all to yourselves. We did encounter some chickens as we got out of the car, but they weren’t a fan of Higgs and quickly took off.

The path skirted farmland before descending through forest to the river. Before long, we came to a swing bridge, which Higgs was incredibly opposed to crossing.

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He actually tried to go down to the river and cross that way, so we had to leash him up, poor thing. I, on the other hand, loved the bridge.

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The view from the bridge was great, too.

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Andy went down to the river to admire the old structures that used to supply water to the surrounding farmland.

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All safely across, we climbed up the steep hill on the other side of the river and emerged from the woods right near a great viewing platform.

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Green fields for days!

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And a view looking toward the lush river valley.

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It really makes you realize how much work it must’ve been clearing the woods to create pastureland.

After taking in our fill of the view, we headed back down the way we came.

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Like most hikes in New Zealand, this one involved climbing over fences, but there are always built-in steps to make it easy. Vallhunds do require a little extra assistance, though.

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Farewell, lonely viewing platform.

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We followed the winding path and stairs back down to the river, and Higgs was kind enough to patiently pose for me.

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Just look at that doggy smile. That’s the look of a pup who’s been spoiled by long daily walks.

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Lucky for Higgs, we didn’t have to cross the swing bridge again, as the trail we were taking back went alongside the river.

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We got a good view of the old waterworks as we continued along the Waingongoro.

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Even the trail signs were picturesque.

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Higgs got a chance to take a dip (and a drink) before the path branched away from the river. What a lucky dog.

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We made our way back to the car and got a good view of the old overgrown river bridge as we walked across the current one. It doesn’t take long for nature to reclaim old structures in New Zealand.

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And that concludes our wonderful holiday trip up to Waikanae and Taranaki. Andy and I won’t be doing as much traveling coming up as we’re saving for our month-long trip to England and the States in June/July. I’ll just have to think of more creative close-to-home photo ideas, but rest assured the blog will continue on. As always, thanks for stopping by!

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