Days 99-106: St Arnaud to Boyle.

Blue Lake, Nelson Lakes NP.

After a dash into Nelson to replace some worn gear I started the short trek round Lake Rotoiti to the Lakehead hut, normally a lunch stop it became then first day as I hadn’t set out until almost 4pm. Day 2 was a walk up to John Tait Hut. Maybe it was the hot day or the rush of the day before but with so many great spots to take in the surroundings I spent more time dreaming than walking. Day 3 I woke feeling fully recovered the trail followed the travers river up over the travers saddle then down into the Sabine River before heading up the West Sabine River to the WS Hut. After the Richmond Ranges I was starting to be a little disappointed with the Nelson Lakes National Park which was just a continuous Beech forest, nothing yet deserving of its status. This changed on Day 4 as we climbed the rapidly changing gradient of the Sabine river and came out at Blue Lake with its deep blue colors surrounded by snow patched mountians, I continued on to the end of lake Constance and the foot of the Waiau pass, camping out so the next day I wouldn’t be climbing in 30 degree heat again. From the top of Waiau pass it was an almost vertical decent into the Waiau River, so glad to have had some rock climbing experience. The vertical drop soon leveled out as the trail made it’s way down the valley before joining the St James walkway on day 6. The mornings here are cold, the mountains on either side still have permanent ice, even my boots were iced up early in the mornings before the sun set in. By the time it got to day 8 the pack was almost lightweight as I had made sure to eat everything i could so it was a run into Boyle Village then a ride into Hanmer for a resupply and a 24hr break before heading back to start the journey through to Arthur’s Pass.

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