Walking to the trailhead of the Herikino Forest track I noticed two things about Ahipara. Firstly, there were a lot of places for sale. Secondly, most homes had dogs, and I mean big, fierce fighting breed type dogs. I wonder what they are afraid of? Do their kids grow up in fear? Chatting to the local dairy owner while I was stocking up on ibuprofen, he asked about where I was going etc. when I told him I was walking to Kerikeri and sleeping under a tarp, he expressed concern for my well being, offering his house as a place to stay, to keep me safe as there were 'naughty people' living near. So there you go!
I finally found the start of the track, despite the DOC signs being absent (naughty people, perhaps).
Peering into the gloom I spotted another sign
So off I plunged! I have to say, it felt great to be walking in bush again! I was happy to be amongst my favorite trees and ferns after that beach walk.