Te Araroa Trail – Day 79
Thursday, January 25, 2024
Distance/ Total: 31.3 km / 19.4 mi
I slept great in my tent last night. The Weka seem to roost in bushes at night so they weren’t roaming around. They made a lot of noise getting situated, but once the settled in it was quiet through the night.
The campsite overlooked the city of Picton and I could see the lights from the city after dark. Seemed weird being that close to a city, but still feel like I was in the middle of the forest.
I didn’t want to get around this morning and slept until 6:30. I finally got up but took a little longer to get ready because my tent was soaking wet from the dew. I started on the trail about 7:30am.
The trail started with a little bit of a climb then a big descent to Torea saddle, an old portage route from Kenepuru sound to Queen Charlotte Sound. The trail then began climbing again for quite awhile. I met an American couple from the Boston area who were here doing the South Island only. They were just 3 days in, but doing very well.
The trail undulated over the mountains with great views of the bays as I walked passed them. The final push into Anakiwa was mostly downhill to the oceanfront. I arrived at Anakiwa about 2:00 and stopped for an ice cold Coke before continuing on.
From here the trail has been recently routed to the Link Pathway, a pathway linking Picton to Anawika and Havelock. It’s a well formed gravel path following the roadway. It’s nice to not have to walk on the paved road and deal with the traffic.
I reached the Queen Charlotte Tavern about 4:00 and enquired about the camping. It’s free camping if you buy a meal there. It was too early to eat, but not too early for a beer so I ordered that.
I started getting hungry about 6:00 and ordered a hamburger and another beer for the night. The hamburger was good, but still not the same as an American burger. I still managed to finish it off though.
The camping area was right in front of the tavern and I felt a little uncomfortable setting up my tent in front of the rest of the guest. I waited until it thinned out some then set up my tent about 8:00pm. I filled up my water bottles from inside then climbed into my tent to update my blogs and get ready for another great night of sleep.