Te Araroa Trail – Day 82
Sunday January 28, 2024
Distance/ Total: 31.8 km / 19.8 mi
I was packed up and leaving the campground at 7:00am this morning. There were a few people up, but the campground was very quiet. I walked the short distance back to the trail and crossed over the Pelorus River on the highway bridge.
The trail started out on a paved road through farmlands. There were plenty of cows and sheep to see along the road today. After about 4km the road turned into gravel until the trailhead 10km further down the road. As I walked the road the farmland slowly gave way to forest and there were several cold streams to get water from.
From the trailhead the Pelorus River Track started out with a slight grade but was pretty rocky and had lots of roots to negotiate. This continued on for a few kilometers then the climb began. A 150m (450’) climb to get me warmed up. From there it was a series of ups and downs along the Pelorus River for the next 5km to the Captain’s Creek Hut. I stopped in there to eat lunch and met 3 other hikers heading to the Rock Hut tonight. They were finishing up as I arrived and I finished my lunch and moved on.
It was another 10 km to Rock Hut and it took me 4 1/2 hours to walk it. The trail was very rocky, rooty, and lots of ups and downs. There were 4 suspension bridges today that had the mesh floor. It really makes you concentrate when you cross, making sure you step on the cross braces with each step. The last 5km was a 600+ meter climb that seemed to go on forever.
I reached Rock Hut about 6:30 and all the bunks in the hut were full and there were several tents already setup. I found a small spot and squeezed my tent in for the night. It was not only the traditional hikers here, whole families were up here at the hut. It was like a front country campground that I just walked 15km uphill to get to. I’m hoping the other huts aren’t as crowded as this one.
The sandflies were pretty bad here so I crawled inside and fixed my dinner from inside the tent. It cooled off fast as the sun set behind the trees and it’s probably going to be a cool night.