11 Mar, cloudy, light rain
I woke in the dorm and sorted my gear for one night. Stored the rest in a locker in the foyer of the Backpackers. I said farewell to the 70yo trampers still cuddled up nursing their tired bodies and was off.
My cooked breakfast and coffee at the cafe was a delightful welcome to city life.
I met Bex and Max outside and was driven to the track start.
The walk was 10.5km down a cycle track along an estuary in light rain. Quite pleasant.
We arrived at the railway crossing and bridge to cross the highway and join the cycleway beside the main road. Ahead was 16km on SH1.
It took no time for a bloke to reverse in front of us coming from nowhere to want to drive us to the Oyster shop, Bluff. There was a queue waiting to be served so we walked back to the Bluff sign and took some pictures leaving our driver in the queue.
This was just past the old building that is now a paua farm operation and at the narrowest part before the Bluff township. Here we are starting to get excited! But there’s still a track ahead to get the best this area has to offer, the most southern part of South Island NZ.
From here the track went around the Bluff coast on a gentle wander. Lots of trapping and views of Stewart Island and Foveaux Straight. The track began on farmland before the track went through low bush with a variety of podacarp in forest that has never been harvested. A wide range of vegetation grows as it has forever.
We chose a place for a late lunch and our first stop for the day. Amazing view over the Omaui reserve.
Eventually we came to the lookout, this was the southern most part of the south Island.
We were getting excited to nearly be there at the sign. When we did see the sign in the distance there was a few camper vans and cars in the carpark.
When we got to the sign we photo bombed other people taking photos as we rushed to the sign to touch it like weirdos.
The people clapped and did a complete photoshoot with us. They took videos and made quite a celebration of group photos including us. They wanted to hold our poles in their photos, it was crazy and strange to take it all in.
When they had all moved on we then took the pics we wanted. Staged and predetermined. The best to show are during that short crazy time.
This guy had an interesting pose for a photographer, not sure of his agenda but he did not want us in his shot.😏
We then walked the 4km to the Bluff Hostel. On the way we stopped at the environmental group and was given explanation of Bluffs trapping programme and progress. Very impressive!
We were booked into the Backpackers, had a shower and rekaxed.
What a great place. It’s the old Post Office building. Kay the manager was the matriarch ensuring everyone was OK. I highly recommend this old place to stay. $25 dorm room.
After getting settled we wandered down to get a beer and cod and chips and sit down on the beach. The three of us reflected and chatted about this wonderful time we have had.
An ice cream on the way back to the hostel we met a bloke who had walked the TA and is now cycling it.
It’s satisfying to complete this epic walk.
Nailed it, Job done.