WOW, WOW, WOW
Ok I should stop there but WOW, this is a special section of the trail. Day one meanders up the deep green pools of the Pelorus river, the most amazing being emerald pool a must swimming spot. Sandflys (giant midges with teeth the size of jaws) populate the most beautiful parts of NZ so you don’t linger to long and this spot has hoards of them waiting to despatch you flesh intact or not. After a refreshing swim and lightening fast escape it was onto Captain Creek Hut for the first night. Day two started with a short section up to Middy hut through forest before eventually reaching Rock Hut for lunch. Then onto Browning Hut to end day two. Day three saw us start down a narrow river before coming to Hacket hut and the first section of 8 potentially dangerous river crossings but no rain for a week left the knees dry, then a climb up to starvell hut for lunch coming out onto an exposed ridge where the winds picked up and it was slower moving over and down to Slaty hut. The high winds had slowed a lot of folks down and we managed to cram 14 walkers into a 6 berth hut here for the night. The high winds and close to 0 degree temperatures ment no one was keen to pitch a tent. Day four and the winds had dropped perfect conditions for the alpine crossing of Mt Rintoull which involved three huge climbs through rugged rock and scree with three treacherous descents before reaching Rintoull hut. The next day started in low cloud with near zero visibility over purple peak and then onto Tarn Hut. Light rain ment a few had stopped here, 5 of us who had travelled the section together continued onto Mid Wairoa hut, if the rain didn’t stop at least we would have a bunk for 2 nights if the river was uncrossable the next day. The rain didn’t effect the river levels and dawned blue skys for a magical walk up the Wairoa river with 8 crossings, this place was steep and wild with some big waterfalls, rather than face a long afternoon a few of us stopped here early and left the climb over Mt Ellis for the next day. Day seven and eight were two long days with amazing Mars like landscapes overs saddles as we followed a number of rivers to there sources before eventually dropping down in St Arnaud and a few days of luxury at the Alpine lodge. Next section Nelson Lakes through to Boyle.