Day 73 – Stuck in the Middle

The fire went out at some point in the night with neither of us motivated enough to get up and add more wood. It didn’t seem to matter as we were warm all night and decently warm in the morning still. We got a slower start to the day again as we only had plans to go two huts today and figured it’d be a fairly straightforward day. The clouds had cleared slightly when we started and we got a snippet of a view as we set off.

There was no rain at least but the cloud was low and it wasn’t until after a good 30 minutes of hiking that we warmed up. We were in bush most of the day with only a small summit to go up and over. Obviously being in bush just meant we went up and down 100m+ without any views. The bush itself is similar to the alpine forest if the Tararuas and for the most part very nice and enjoyable to walk through.

We quickly got up and over the summit and then descended down towards Tarn hut for lunch. Tarn hut was right by a nice lake, the first alpine lake that we’ve actually been up next too. As we descended towards the hut we did get a brief view of the valley below the clouds and stopped here for a quick break. As it was cold I was also wearing my winter outfit, you can see the buff wrapped snuggly around my neck on the summit.

Lunch was more bush and descending, with some siddling and a few downed trees thrown in. Our destination for the day, Mid Wairoa hut, was at the bottom of a valley with the Wairoa river running through so we had a steep descent to get down to it. Tomorrow we get to climb back up out of it.

The swing bridge we crossed was tied to a very dead looking tree, we didn’t find this out until after we crossed however.

We’ve set up our tent tonight as there’s a nice open flat space and lots of comments about mice in the hut. We spent the afternoon relaxing and looking at the native wildlife, including this big old Weta I found on my shoe. Notice how his hind leg is up and ready to strike. Thankfully he didn’t and I escorted him outside without further issue.

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