Te Araroa Trail – Day 130

Saturday March 16, 2024
Distance/ Total: 34.5 km / 21.4 mi

Shaun and I were up and hiking as soon as it was light enough to see. That’s 7:30am now. The trail started by continuing down the 4WD road from yesterday. It was still full of potholes and mud puddles as we made our way toward Mavora Campground. We skirted the puddles the best we could and made it to the campground with mostly dry feet.

The trail went right through the campground and there was a whitewater kayaking event going on there this morning. As we passed through we were offered some baclava and we gladly accepted it as trail magic.

The trail crossed the Mararoa River on a suspension bridge and then followed the bank of the river and South Mavora Lake. The trail was in very good condition and we made good time to the 2nd suspension bridge.

From here the trail was noticeably worse and slightly overgrown at first. There were several blowdowns we had to walk around or climb over. About half way to the 3rd bridge we encountered some pretty major blowdowns that required us to climb up and over masses of downed trees and crawl under and through tree limbs.

We finally worked our way through the the blowdowns and reached the 3rd bridge. The trail from here to Kiwi Burn Hut junction was in pretty good condition and again we made good time. After the hut junction the trail turned and crossed the Mararoa River. This was a pretty major ford of about 50’ width and mid-thigh deep at its deepest. We made our way across and scrambled up the opposite bank only to find a much overgrown trail going forward.

The trail followed the Mararoa River downstream along a fence line. At times the trail would leave the fence line to avoid brush. We struggled to find the trail markers which were very infrequent and slowly made our way down the trail.

We lost the trail several times and ended up crossing some marshy areas to get back on track. As evening approached we started looking for a campsite that was mentioned in the Far Out app. We could see the trees, but couldn’t find a trail up to them so we climbed up the side of the hill.

The pine trees were part of a wind break and we found a couple of flat spots and cleared out an area for our tents. I set up my tent and crawled inside to cook and get ready for a good nights rest.

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