Te Araroa Trail – Day 95
Saturday February 10, 2024
Distance/ Total: 18.9 km / 11.7 mi
I woke up before daylight and started getting ready. I noticed that the sandflies had left and I was looking forward to a bite-free morning. It started getting daylight as I packed up my gear and by the time I was ready to climb out of the tent they had reappeared. I put on my insect repellent and ventured out of the tent.
The sandflies weren’t as bad as last night, but they were definitely looking for their breakfast this morning. I was on the trail before 7:00am. It was about 8km to the Boyles Outdoor center and the trail was a lot of small ups and downs on the side of a hill. There were a few muddy patches to negotiate, but I made it to the Outdoor Center about 9:00am.
They had a small store there and I picked up an ice cold Coke to drink with my breakfast cereal. Getting back to the trail I began following the Tui Trail along the Boyle River. It started out as mostly a walk through a grass field along the fence line. It then crossed the highway and headed for the Boyle River. It was a combination of grasslands, riverbed walking, and marshes. I waded across the river in shin deep water. The flow was pretty fast, but not very deep.
About 1/2 way down the Tui Trail crossed the Doubtful River. It was flowing fast as well and came up to just touching the bottom of my shorts.
After crossing the Doubtful River the trail climbed up to a shelf and followed a 4WD road for a little while. The road passed through a gate and the trail turned and followed the outside of the fence line for about 2 kilometers before climbing upwards into a very overgrown area.
I pushed my way through the overgrowth for a couple more kilometers before reaching the Harper Track. The TA continues on south following the Harper Track, but I turned north and headed to a suspension bridge that connected to a car park along Highway 7.
This area is called Windy Point and it lived up to its name. There was a small shelter in the car park and I went inside to get out of the wind to eat my lunch.
Finishing lunch it was a short walk to the highway where I could try my luck at hitchhiking into Hanmer Springs. I stuck my thumb out for a ride as the first car passed and realized I was on the wrong side of the road – dang those right side drive cars.
I crossed the road and was able to get a ride in about 15 minutes. It was about a 45 minute ride into Hanmer Springs and the driver dropped me off at the Jakapo Lodge where I had a reservation.
I checked in and the first thing I did was head to the shower. Feeling fresh after the shower, I inventoried my food and made a shopping list. I did my food resupply and came back to the lodge and repackaged for my next section.
As dinner time approached I walked down the street to Five Stags and had a pretty good BBQ pork rib dinner (for New Zealand). I spent the rest of the evening catching up on emails and reviewing the next section of trail.