Te Araroa Trail – Day 85
Wednesday January 31, 2024
Distance/ Total: 15.2 km / 9.4 mi
After the climb up Little Rintoul and Mt. Rintoul yesterday, I’m going to take it a little easier today. The 2nd hut up is on a stream and supposed to have a good swimming hole near the hut. I’m planning to hike there by mid-afternoon and take the afternoon off washing my sweaty clothes and relaxing near the water.
I’m on trail about 7:00am again this morning and the trail starts out with a 250m (820’) climb up to Purple Top. The climb is pretty steep and exits the treeline for the last 100m. There are some great views from the ridgeline and I stop at the top and take a short break to enjoy the views.
Back on the trail it starts a descent to Tarn Lake (with the obligatory climbs on the way). The Tarn Hut is tight on the lake and I stop in to refill my water bottles for the next climb.
The next climb is 200m (650’) and follows the side of the mountain as it circles around to a ridgeline. Once on the ridgeline the trail begins the descent to Mid Wairoa Hut. I stop part way down and eat lunch before continuing to the hut.
I get to the hut about 2:00 and it is really hot. I pick out a spot for my tent and put my gear down and dig my swimsuit out of my bag. I quickly change into my swimsuit and head down to the stream. I take my sweaty clothes with me so I can rinse them out.
The water is very cold and I rinse my clothes out and throw them on the shore then dunk myself in the icy water. I stay in for a few minutes, but have to get out because of the cold. I sit by the edge of the water for awhile just relaxing in the cool shade.
I gather up my clothes and carry them back up to the campsite (which is now in full sun) and hang my wet clothes off my trekking poles. It shouldn’t take long to dry in this heat.
I head back down to the stream to relax some more in the cool shade. About 4:00pm I head back up to the hut and check my clothes – almost dry. I visit with some of the hikers there and we discuss our plans, weather, and accommodation in St. Arnaud. As the evening progresses we cook dinner, visit with other hikers as they arrive, and crawl in our tents early to get away from the sandflies.