24 April 2012

Takitimu Track

We hitched back to where we had left the trail to continue south.  Apart from our packs being heavy, again, with so much food it all started well.  A flat and easy trail led to the first hut and into the forest but things quickly deteriorated once in the forest.

The trip notes state that "The ground trail is light, or non-existent, so care and concentration is required to travel from marker to marker."  Not an understatement!!  We would spot an orange marker and then battle our way to it as best as we could scrambling over fallen trees and fighting with the vegetation.  The forest was very beautiful and we were followed by fantails, cute little black and white birds that feed on the flies we disturb as we walk along. At times we came out of the forest and had to make our way through crazy tussock grasses that were chest high.

At one point Madeleine started to sob that she hated the trail!  Rather than camp she wanted to push on to the next hut as the nights had been pretty chilly so we walked by head torch and used the GPS to navigate for the last kilometre or two.  I think it was wise that we did, as that night there was a harsh frost and in the morning the ground was frozen.  It would have been a very chilly night in our tents.

Although, the going was tough on some sections we made good progress and so had a couple of days when we only walked until just after lunch. 

At one point we emerged from the forest onto a rocky outcrop where in the distance we could see the South coast of the South Island of New Zealand.  It was still a long way off but it was in sight!!

Sheep along our way to Lower Princhester Hut

Easy to follow that path - not!

Early moring frost

The famous orange markers!  You would think they were easy to spot ehh?

Lots of birdlife

Out of the forest

Our first sighting of the south coast

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