Te Araroa Trail – Day 117

Sunday March 3, 2024
Distance/ Total: 28.3 km / 17.6 mi

Shaun and I were up and on the trail by 7:30am this morning. Today didn’t look like a difficult hike and started out walking down the valley toward Ahuriri River.

The trail down the valley was flat and followed a farm road towards the river. Crossing the Ahuriri river could be difficult at times, but it had been dry for awhile and we crossed with the river with water just reaching mid shorts.

The climb out of the river valley was a bigger challenge than the crossing. It was a steep climb back up to the bank. Once out of the river we were back on a farm roads and some single track along Avon Burn Stream.

We reached Tin Hut about noon and stopped in to eat our lunch inside out of the sun. Finishing lunch we were back on trail which now was a 4WD road making its way up to Martha Saddle. Despite being on a road bed, the trail was mostly a narrow single track that wound it way up the mountain. As we neared the top the road became more and more rocky and was pretty much coarse gravel by the time we reached the top.

Reaching the top I took a short break to catch my breath and eat a snack before beginning the descent. The descent was an abandoned 4WD track that had been washed out in several places. It wasn’t very steep, but my knee was pretty sore before I reached the valley below. The trail continued down the valley following the Timaru River.

We reached the Top Timaru Hut about 5:30pm and were able to grab a couple of the bunks that were still available. The wind in the valley was cold and strong and rain is expected tonight. It’s a good night to be indoors.

As the evening progressed other hikers arrived and we ended up with 10 people in our 6 bunk hut, four of them camped out on the floor.

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