Driving to the very end of the Otaki gorge road to find the camp place is quite nice ride, many portions of gravel road, chicken running free and the occasional car waving at you, hunter trucks parked here and there.
Apart from a party of kids based at the camp at the furthest point down the road, there was no one for the night at the little camp a bit before that.
Getting up early to do a 2-3 hour walk was satisfying. No path was visible from the parking lot, it turns out it was hidden behind a luxuriant vegetation. You kind of walk through a tunnel of trees, branches, moss and dead leaves.
As always for any such walk in New Zealand it is advisable to be very responsible. You can fill the intention's book at the nearest caretaker's office and let someone know where you plan to go and when you plan to return. The rapid change of weather condition can bring heavy rain or even snow, which can lead the path to be inaccessible or cut. A huge part of the road fell off after we walked on it. Another part of the path we could only go through because someone left a rope tied on a tree and that helped us climb up back to the path. The heavy rain from two days before created waterfalls from dripping walls and weakened the paths that are already fragile on dry weather.
Driving through Otaki we noticed a small market so we stopped. A few local veggies, arts and crafts, antiques and garage sales, some hot sausages and burgers for the hungry ones... A nice stroll and pause before hitting the road again.