Te Araroa Trail – Day 116

Saturday March 2, 2024
Distance/ Total: 24.6 km / 15.3 mi

We were up early this morning but still had trouble getting an early start. We started down the trail about 7:50am. The trail followed the highway for a couple of kilometers before turning off onto a single track trail alongside Lake Ōhau. Another couple of kilometers and it turned away from the lake and headed for the mountains.

It followed the A2O bike trail for a short distance and then began a 400 meter (1300’) climb up the Ōhau Range. This was one of the best trails I’ve seen on the TA. The trail was well defined, the grade was reasonable, and there were great views of the stream rising beside the trail. We reached the saddle about noon and worked our way slowly across the marshy top to find a place to eat lunch.

After lunch the trail was downhill to our planned campsite for the night, 4 km before the Ahuriri River crossing. The trail down was very gradual, but was also very rocky. It traveled through tussocks, rocks, marshes, and scree fields. The footing was very uneven and my ankle was pretty sore as it kept twisting and turning to match the terrain.

The trail followed the Ahuriri River East Branch into the valley bottom and the last kilometer to the campsite was through a very wet marshland. We arrived at camp about 5:00pm and there were several other hikers there. We took our shoes and socks off and washed the mud out of them in the nearby stream. We setup our tents, collected water, and cooked dinner.

As the sun worked it way behind the mountains, the wind picked up and the temperature started dropping. We all turned into our tents to escape to cool wind.

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