13. Hauroko Burn – Halfway Hut (Dusky Track 1/8)

Thursday, February 23: Sunny throughout with some morning fog and high clouds in the afternoon

Tramping: 11.9 km

Halfway Hut (Doc)

The compass-alarm went off on the dot of 6:00 and I was up to finish the orange juice and two eggs which were a little too hard boiled, but the shells separated nicely. Everything fitted into the backpack, except for the (large) gas can and the burner which were packed into the sport shoe bag and strapped on the outside of the pack, and the tripod and ratsack are being carried in a separate bag sashed to me.

The computer & pjs were put into the satellite pack and deposited in locker #19.

With everything ready to go and the room key delivered back to the key drop I was waiting at the front of the motorcamp at 7:15 and could spend a spot OK while doing so. Shuttle turned up a little after half past, and in addition to Jack & Nico, two Dutch hikers were coming along as well, Sjos & Bo. We also had to pick up another person in Manapouri, Murray, a Kiwi from Taranaki. Now we were set to go to Clifden. Here we were joined by a young Canadian couple, Quinn & Matt, who had just completed the Te Araroa and were looking for another challenge. Read more…

12. Te Anau

Wednesday, February 22: Heavy rain overnight, becoming fine, sunny & hot in the course of the day

Walking: 11.0 km

Steamers Beach

Breakfast this morning was a “traditional”: Eggs, ham & toast at the Olive Tree Café for $15 plus a double flat white for $4 (52 Town Centre). This was served with satchels of jam and honey, which brought me to the idea of perhaps substituting honey for sugar in the tramping coffee.

But first I tried to get to the Trips & Tramps office, which is a fair way out of town, and in reality not an office but just a depot, so I returned the way I took out, back along the Milford Road. Te Anau Collision Repairs has the charming slogan, “Show us your crack”, and all the toury places along the path were booked out. Read more…

11. Invercargill – Te Anau

Tuesday, February 21: Cloudy, variable, with some rain drops

Steamers Beach Backpackers, Lakeview Holiday Park, 77 Manapouri – Te Anau Hwy, Lake Te Anau, single ($36 + $4, BBH)

I wanted to see Tina off, so I was up at around 7:30. Tony showed me to some cereal, made some coffee, and I later toasted a couple of slices of bread for which I had to collect my vegemite. Tina’s breakfast was waiting for her and she was quickly finished and away to work after a hug.

I was in no big hurry this morning – all I needed was a lift to the i-site & then to see whether I could get a replacement tripod. Tracey & Edward were soon down & starting on their own breakfast. I wrote dedications in the books for Tina & Tony. Read more…

10. Oban – Paterson Inlet – Invercargill

Monday, February, 20: A bit of cloud to the east in the morning, clearing to fine with an easterly breeze, fog in the late afternoon & evening

Kayaking: 16.7 km
Walking: 5.9 km

Tina & Tony’s ($70, airbnb)

After the privations of the hike, and as a celebration of the last day on the island I set off for breakfast at the SSH, with Frank closely in tow. The full breakfast (which had been available from 8:00 onwards, and not 9:00, which is when I arrived) was three sausages, two eggs, a couple of bits of bacon, a tomato, hash browns and ciabatta toast for $20 and was well worth it.

Frank was still keen on kayaking and I put a call through to Phil, who was now asking $50 an hour for a part-day trip, so I had to reconsult with Frank whether he was prepared to fork out $200 for a four hour tour. Seemed a bit steep to me & Phil was still harping on about wet rescue, etc. but eventually we agreed, packed some stuff together for the tour (and I placed my suitcase in storage and returned my key) and off we set. Read more…