Monday, January 28, 2008

Flora Car Park to Cape Farewell (Jan 2007)


Evening Flora Carpark to Flora Hut 2 kms

Day 1 Flora Hut to Saddle Waingaro Peak 9 hrs 30.5 kms

Day 2 Saddle Waingaro Peak to Lonely Lake Hut 5 hrs 8.5 kms

Day 3 Lonely Lake Hut to Adelaide Tarn 6.75 hrs 6.5 kms

Day 4 Adelaide Tarn to Boulder Lake 4.25 hrs 7.5 kms

Day 5 Boulder Lake to Kaituna Forks 8 hrs 34 kms

Day 6 Kaituna Forks to Ngaroa Farm Gate 8.5 hrs 27.5 kms

Day 7 Ngaroa Farm Gate to Puponga 7.5 hrs 18.5 kms

Day 8 Puponga to Collingwood 23.5 kms

Day 9 Day Walk at Collingwood


Wednesday 3rd (Evening)

Pam dropped me off at Flora car park at 2045 following. the Wednesday night 5km run, and I walk down the Flora hut for the night.

Thursday 4th (Day 1)

Away at 0745, arrived at Trilobite earlier than expected at 1215 via bullock track. Cooked lunch there, then carried on for a further 3 ½ hrs to Fenela hut. Had tea at Fennela and rested awhile. As the hut is rather full, I decided to camp at the tarn near the saddle below Waingaro Peak. The tarn turned out to be more like a small pool, but it was a lovely spot and the weather warm and calm. I even managed to get cell phone coverage. I am very pleased with progress today and hope to make the most of the settled weather.

Friday 5th (Day 2)

Away at 0800 and followed the well worn route to Lonely Lake hut. Easy going in the main and arrived at LL at 1300. It’s very hot and I decide to stay here tonight so spend the afternoon relaxing. Tomorrow will tackle the high sidle to Anatoki Peak in the cooler morning.

Saturday 6th (Day 3)

During the night I talked myself out of the high sidle, so did the low route instead. After seeing the bluffs later on, I didn’t regret the change. The high route is best done in the opposite direction. I vow the do it one day with company! Another fine day today. I get away at 0815 and arrive at Adelaide Tarn at 1500. I took a route down to the Anatoki River almost directly to pt744 from the saddle. I didn’t strike any bluffs and the going was pretty good. However when it came to the climb up to the saddle west of 1435, I ended up cutting up into the bluffy part of 1435, but managed to sidle below the worst of them. Lots of scratches on my arms and legs from bush bashing. A piece of foam mattress on the ground is testament to the fact that I am not the only one to have taken this route. It is nice to see Adelaide Tarn once again, this being my third visit. Some nice sized empty snail shells were seen today. For an evening stroll. I circle the tarn and climbed over Trident and Douglas peaks. A family of Keas entertained me enroute. I could see Farewell Spit in the distance and closer to hand the Dragons teeth, and Lead hills.

Sunday 7th (Day 4)

Rose at 0730 to misty drizzle and got away at 0845. Missed the track after descending from the needles eye, but regained it after backtracking and making sure I could see the next cairn from the one I was at. Whilst at the eye, it was eerily still and silent in the misty conditions. Weather warm and pleasant. I wasn’t sure where Green Saddle was so got out the GPS to guide me to it. It turned out I was only about 200m from it. Arrived at Boulder Lake at 1300. I would have had enough time to get to Bain ham but stayed the night at Boulder Lake in the hope that tomorrow will bring better visibility. Reading material in the hut referred to Appo’s creek/flat. Related to Appo Hocton? Also the oldest hut in NZ is Machine Hut in the Lyell 1890!

Monday 8th (Day 5)

Up at 0600 and it is still misty and drizzling, but when I left at 0730 the mist had lifted some what and the drizzle had stopped. I could actually see Boulder Lake from the hut! An easy hike out to the car park in 4 ½ hrs or 5hrs to the road end, then another hour to the Bainham store. Weather fine. I have a big spend up at Langford’s store. They don’t take EFTPOS so I arrange with Laura Langford for a cheque to be sent later. I buy baked beans, spaghetti, peaches, pears, krisbies, lemonade and a toothbrush and toothpaste. I cook up lunch at the store so I don’t have to carry all the weight I purchased. I clean my teeth for the first time in 5 days! Whilst there, I am surprised by the amount of traffic that stops here for photos and ice creams. Left Bainham at 1550, arrived at the Naked Possum at Kaituna after 1 ½ hrs. They do take EFTPOS so I buy a couple of beers, then head of for the Kaituna Forks where I make camp. The Rata is flowering prolifically, and the Nikaus look healthy due to the warm moist climate.

Tuesday 9th (Day 6)

Up at 0630 and away at 0830. Initial climb from the forks was steepish, but rest of the track gentle up and down. Kaituna track is very pleasant and varied, although mostly done in the rain or drizzle. Arrived at track end near Knuckle Hill at 1300 and walked out to the Wanganui inlet via an old logging road, arriving at 1345. Was intending to walk out to the Wairoa inlet, but I think this part of the track no longer exists. The next leg involved walking up the road to the Ngaroa junction, arriving at 1615. then arrived at the Ngaroa farm gate at about 1700. The Kaituna track is well worth doing, with subtropical bush and prolifically flowering rata at both ends of the track. I setup camp in light rain. The weather forecast for the next 24hrs is heavy rain. I will sleep in tomorrow if it does rain heavily. A neighbour kindly promised to ring the owners of Ngaroa farm to let them know I am coming. She tells me about the hassles they had with draining the Ngaroa swamp.

Wednesday 10th (Day 7)

It rained and blew thru the night, but luckily I placed the tent in a sheltered spot. The rained ceased at about 4 – 5am. So up at 0600 and packed up and away by 0800. There was nobody around at the Ngaroa farmhouse, so I carried on thru the farm. A lovely spot with nice native areas and outstanding geography, including Mt Lunar. No bush bashing required today and I stepped onto Wharariki Beach at 1015. I arrived at the most northern point of the South Island at 1210. Later I arrived at the more spectacular ‘official’ point of Cape Farewell. I estimate that my point is 55m more north than Cape Farewell! From here I walk the coastal track to the Puponga Farm visitors centre, arriving at 1500. I ordered a smoked chicken salad for lunch and a Monteith’s Black. (My first proper meal in 8 days and it was magnificent!) A short walk later saw me tenting at the Puponga motor camp where I enjoyed a hot shower. I decide that tomorrow I will walk the 23kms to Collingwood. Since Pam is not due until Saturday afternoon and I have time to kill. Unfortunately it is not possible to walk out to the lighthouse on Farewell Spit; otherwise I would have done it. You can walk for about 5kms though.

Thursday 11th (Day 8)

I’m on the road at 0930. I have a snack and cuppa at Pakawau before continuing to Collingwood. The day came out sunny so I stopped at the Collingwood cemetery for a late lunch and to dry out wet clothes. I book into the Collingwood motor camp for 2 nights. No more carrying a pack!

Friday 12th (Day 9)

Later in the morning I head off with my pack to climb to pt 518 at the end of Whakamarama Rd. I jog out to the road end and climb steeply to the top. As I am not carrying much water, I go no further than pt 518. I return the same way. I chat to some interesting characters at the motor camp and wonder about their backgrounds!

Saturday 13th (Day 10)

I decamp from the motor camp and walk up to the motel that Pam & I will stay in tonight. I leave my pack there and fill in the rest of the morning by walking along the Bainham road for about 6km, before returning to the motel. Pam arrives in the early evening and we dine at the old courthouse. Having now completed Cape Farewell to Erewhon Station, I am nearly ½ way!

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