Te Araroa Trail – Day 127

Wednesday March 13, 2024
Distance/ Total: 30.4 km / 18.9 mi

It rained on and off all night. I woke about 6:00am and thought it was over, but it still rained a little after that. We packed up our wet gear and started down the trail about 7:30am.

From the campsite the trail followed the Greenstone River downstream for a couple of kilometers before crossing the river and heading out across the valley. Reaching the other side of the valley it began a long descent upwards to McKeller Saddle. The saddle was flat on top and marshy, but a series of boardwalks kept us out of the water.

Crossing the saddle we began a long slow descent following the Caples River. The trail would alternate between forest and open meadow and occasionally into the rocky riverbed as well. We made good time down the long valley stopping for lunch at “the perfect camping spot”. At least that’s what the map said. It was alongside the Caples River, but I’ve seen better campsites.

Back to the trail we continued down the trail, through more forest and across open meadows. We reached the Greenstone/ Caples Track junction about 4:00pm and headed for the Carpark and the beginning of the Te Araroa Trail after Queenstown. During this descent my right knee started getting sore and I was anxious to get off it for the day.

The Te Aroroa has its 3rd disconnected section between Queenstown and Greenstone Station with the Lake Wakatipu separating the two points. We backtracked 3.1 kilometers to the Greenstone Station to where the TA starts after crossing the lake. Turning around we walked 1.1 kilometers back to the car park where we planned to spend the night.

The Carpark had a nice covered area where we cooked and ate our dinner then we went and setup our tents as it began to get dark. As we were setting up the grass was already getting wet from the dew and I knew it was going to be a damp night.

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