Te Araroa Trail – Day 83
Monday January 29, 2024
Distance/ Total: 19.9 km / 12.4 mi
I was up and on the trail a little after 7:00am again today. The trail from camp climbed up about 200’ to a nice lookout into the Richmond Range. I stopped at the top and ate my breakfast while enjoying the view. The trail started getting pretty overgrown and at time you couldn’t see the trail without pushing brush out of your way.
After eating I continued on and soon found I was no longer on the trail and in the middle of a big blowdown area. I checked the map and thought I could cut across to the trail, but the blowdowns and overgrown brush made it very difficult. I was climbing over and under large trees and pushing my way through the brush and finally made it back to the trail. From here on the trail was pretty good with just a few short sections of overgrowth.
I reached Browning Hut about 11:40 and refilled my water bottles in the stream. It was a short 45 minute hike to Hackett Hut and I walked down there to eat my lunch. There was no shade at the hut, but some nice trees just past it to eat under.
Back on the trail it was a 5.8km hike to Starvewell Hut, but 900m (3,000’) of elevation. The trail started by following Hackett creek and crossing it several times. I was able to keep my shoes dry for awhile, but finally slipped on a rock and ended up with wet shoes. At the next water crossing there was a nice deep pool and I decided to go ahead and get in. The water was cold, but felt great on this hot day.
I rinsed my sweaty shirt off, wrung it out and put it back on. The cool clothes felt good as I started up the big climb. The cool didn’t last long though and I soon couldn’t tell if my shirt was wet from the water of from the sweat.
It was a hard tough climb, but I finally reached the hut and was early enough to get a bunk in the hut. I rigged up a clothesline to hang my damp clothes on and changed into my camp clothes for the night.
This hut is right on the tree line and had a great view out back. I cooked dinner and visited with the other hikers before turning in as hiker midnight (9:00pm) approached.