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TA Day 108 – Hiking up Glacial Valleys


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8th February


Bushcamp Greenstone Track 2670.7km to Careys Hut 2708.4km

It’s not going to be a good day when I open my eyes to see thousands of sandflies eager for me to exit the tent. I cooked my breakfast inside the tent, not recommended, and packed up everything before lathering myself in insect repellent. Even with repellent on I felt like I was under attack. The little buggers would land on me, be stunned by the repellent and stick to my skin. I really need to toughen up, a lot.

The Greenstone Trail was an easy graded trail that followed the Greenstone river upwards towards the snow capped mountains of the famous Routeburn track. The Te Araroa trail turned off at Greenstone Hut, a large fully serviced hut with weather reports, flushing toilets and hut wardens.

The valleys in this part of the world are wide U shaped valleys carved by long dead glaciers. The mountain ranges all around are tall and snow capped for most of the year.

Upwards the trail went at a gentle grade till it reached the long and wide tussock grass plains. Several huts are spread out along this section of trail which gave me many options on where to stay. I settled on a longer day and hiked on to Careys Hut. 4 others were already inside the 6 person hut. I made my bed on a top bunk, cooked dinner and listened to the stories. Two of the people staying there had all their fishing gear. Before sunset they went fishing on the nearby lake and caught a large trout. Several kilograms in weight. I’ve never seen a trout so big. Wish I took a photo as proof. Apparently, the largest trout in the world are all caught in New Zealand. The world record so I was told was caught from the Te Araroa Trail as it passes Salmon farms on the canals between Lake Tekapo and Twizel. I noticed lots of people fishing there, now I know why.

The floor of the hut was littered with small mice droppings. I hung my food and backpack from the ceiling like I do every night in a hut, nobody else did. At least my food should be fine come the morning.

Distance to The Bluff 288km.

Next – Day 109 – I hate Sundflies 

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Complete Guide to the Te Araroa Trail
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Te Araroa Trail Gear Review

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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6 thoughts on “TA Day 108 – Hiking up Glacial Valleys”

    • I’d love to spend more time hiking in this part of NZ, I haven’t hiked the Reece Dart area for example. I miss the trail already, that’s usually how it always works but I am enjoying fresh food and staying indoors when it’s raining. That will wear off real quick.

      • Haha, well you enjoy the novelty of salad and a roof over your head while it lasts! There are plenty more trails waiting… Rees-Dart and Wilkin-Young are both great.

      • I had to be rescued from the Young valley on my last visit to NZ. Bad weather had me trapped in a hut. Luckily there are jet boats on the Makaroara river. I’ll do it again one day

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