Te Araroa Trail – Day 134

Wednesday March 20, 2024
Distance/ Total: 27.8 km / 17.3 mi

Camping near the river meant everything was wet this morning. It was wet and cold last night getting down to 38 degrees in my tent. I woke up and wiped the cold water off the inside then started getting ready to go.

It was almost 8:00 am when we started down the trail. The trail started out through overgrown grass and the cold water coming off the grass made my feet numb almost instantly. About a kilometer into the hike we crossed the Telford Burn River and the river water felt warm on my feet.

After crossing the river we began an ascent up a hill on a farm road. The sun had finally risen above the mountains and between the sun and the upward climb I was soon shedding my warm clothes.

The trail today followed mostly 4WD farm roads up and down the hills through Mt. Linton Station, a very large farming operation. At times the trail would leave the farm roads and cross a field or follow a fence line for awhile. We passed thousands of sheep, hundreds of cows, and acres of planted crops.

There were a couple of big climbs throughout the day and several really good views from the top of them. We stopped for lunch at one particular view and the Te Araroa Trail Manager and a Te Araroa Trustee came by surveying the trail and spent some time talking to us.

We reached Birchwood Station, a neighboring farm, about 5:30pm and walked about a kilometer off trail to their farm where they had an old house available for hikers. It had two main rooms, a bedroom with beds for 10 people and a kitchen/ sitting area.

As soon as we arrived we spread out our tents and sleeping bags in the sun to dry them out. I cooked dinner and ate then took a shower. It felt good to be clean even if it was only for the night (I have to put on my sweaty, smelly hiking clothes again in the morning).

The 3 hikers from Aparima Hut the other night arrived when I was in the shower and we all visited again until almost 10:00pm – another late night for hikers.

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