27 Feb, 18km cool overcast morning, hot sunny windy afternoon.
It got dark at 9:30 last night. The wind howled knocking the external plumbing against the hut several times through the night. It sounded like a jet landing.
It was still dark outside at 6:30 so I rolled over and cuddled in for another hour. It was cold through the night and even colder outside.
First I had to cross the Mararoa River over the swing bridge and should have turned sharp right. Instead I followed the path to the river. It didn’t take long to find the correct markers and then follow them.
Wading through a series of side streams tramping across river terraces.
There was a note in the guide to watch for the ‘crawl under fence’.
The terraces of course had more bogs. These wet swampy areas are difficult to find the track after clearing the muddy bits.
I met several NOBO’s Jess and Blake. Jess is the daughter of Simon who I met in the Tararua section.
I saw Boundary Hut and intended to have lunch there. Some nice red spiky flowers and one Matagouri.
To get to the hut I had to find a track through matagouri and double back after crossing back over Mararoa River on a swing bridge.
This ends the tramp over Elfin Bay Station or Mavora Walkway and begins the Mavora Lakes section. I think the boundary is at Boundary hut.
Mt Mavora was on my right and highest peak in this section 1990m. The track went through the valley so no hills to climb today.
I met Ben NOBO leaving Boundary Hut heading north who gave tips on time and distance for me heading south.
After lunch I headed to Carey’s Hut, 6 km on a 4WD track. As I left half a dozen dirt track riders on their bikes drove up and around the dunes. Dusty on the road as another six came after them.
This was a quick walk along the valley following the river. It was very hot.
Over the hill was very pretty. The hut came up real quick. The road was very stoney and hard to walk on.
Inside the hut was Mum and her 2 daughters NOBO having lunch. They passed on excellent ideas to reach Te Anau. They confirmed the areas DOC no longer maintained and suggested a better route. I smile at the descriptions given by NOBOs eg, really long grass above the markers, track not maintained, steep climb etc. They have a lot more ahead to experience where there are no markers to follow.
About 5:30 Max and Bex arrived and stayed the night, it was great to have their company once again. We ate and chatted and planned as the usual routine before an early night.