22 Feb, light rain hot and sunny
23 km, this walk took all day. Other TA walkers manage to miss a hut on this track but for me I’m happy to survive without injury or stress.
Let the final day of Mangatapu Track begin. Previously the track took us up to Jack’s Saddle 1275m that involved sidles and ridge walking to Highland Creek Hut that sat in a huge flat basin up in the hills giving magnificent views.
Next, we had two major climbs and descents up and around Knuckle Peak. Up a deep spur to sidle to high lookout points with amazing views before a long descent into a creek.
Immediately the next climb began at the creek to the south west side of Knuckle Peak. Only to head down the Ridgeline to the Mangatapu River and on to Rose’s Hut.
I just love the open spaces of ridge walking, especially here. Normally trees or hills block the view but to be up high in the open is amazing.
And now today. A climb up of 470m up to the ridge 1270m. To then descend to Arrow River.
The option here was to walk with the river bed all the way to Macetown or follow a high water route sidling the river. We chose the river. I was walking behind Nick and Ginny.
Paul (NOBO) went over the river junction instructions but in my mind it just made no sense. Given all the rivers we had crossed in the South Island although confident I was unsure. But here it was, the junction. A short time earlier I saw Nick on the descent and pressed on following the track. It was so good to have track buddies to help with the decision making.
However confident I was in river crossing this river track was not reconciling in my head. I pressed on on mid calf going with the water flow track.
Above I saw NOBO walkers on a track above and waved out. Should I be up there?
And then I heard ‘Sandra’ from behind. It was Nick! So relieved but how did that happen?
All on course and in good spirits we pressed on to wade in and out of Arrow River together.
It was all shades of green and clear water. The flow was walking speed, ankle to knee deep. The green was the colour of the rock, greenstone? I don’t know but it was beautiful.
Some of the gorges were challenging and I did have a bum dip on and off.
I enjoyed this Arrow River walk more so with company. Nick has a good eye for direction. Ginny a good eye for rock hopping. Love these two track buddies!
Finally after a couple of hours we were out of the river. Macetown was easy to miss the campsite yet we three were headed to Arrowtown tonight. We headed down an exploratory path to an old building to find Bec and Max finishing their lunch so we joined them. First break of the day! Just magnificent tramp today.
The 4WD track met with vehicles coming up as well as beautiful waterfalls. This was the river option, the other was sidling the river with good views. Big Hill Track sort of helped our decision in choosing the river
It was a long hot dry walk from here to Arrowtown over the 4WD track.
The old town of Macetown is being restored and has a good history I hope it can be rescued. At the momen tot it is still mostly derilect.
It was a long walk for me but we caught up with Bec and Max as they were eating multitudes of berries on the road side. Max kept me company until we hit a bridge, all crossed it and walked to a site. Internet access!!
I chose to walk on to the holiday park a further 3km, Nick +Ginny, Max + Bec decided to camp on the river for the night. We agreed to catch up in the morning for a coffee.
I hoofed it up to a chemist to buy a mask in old Arrowtown. Phoned the Holiday Park and they close in a few minutes. Oh gee up the hill to secure a bunk room bed another 3km.
What an amazing day! Every day is the best at the moment. For me though a rest day tomorrow. Happy As!!