It rained a little overnight but by the time we got up it was just misting. Thankfully it was dry enough that we were able to pack everything away reasonably dry. We had a quick breakfast by the lake then got going to try and make Te Anau by the end of the day. The track was still fairly easy and we made it past a swing bridge at the bottom of the lake and then to another swing bridge a little further beyond that in just a few hours.
Here we had to make a decision to cross the swing bridge and continue on the left hand side or follow the trail down and ford the river later. It was looking pretty high and fast so we opted for the swing bridge route.
We now had about an hour walking along mixed open bush track to meet back up with the trail at the crossing point.
It might’ve been crossable but still looked pretty fast and wide. We didn’t regret or decision to use the swing bridge. From here we had about 16km of open bush to go before hitting the road. We’d been expecting it to be pretty tough going with lots of gorse and high grass but it turned out to be not so bad. We were holding our breath the whole way but when we broke for lunch an hour and a half later and things were still going okay we were more optimistic. We’d also come across a nice patch of blue sky that we’d been hiking in, it certainly looked like it would still rain later though.
After lunch we continued on and the terrain remained similar. There was one point where we climbed up a large embankment, went in the middle of some pine trees and followed along this weird middle path before being trapped by a fence and having to climb over. There were markers in here as well so it was quite confusing. We made it to the road in good time and only a little bit wet.
From the road we had 11km to get to the highway and our hitch out to Te Anau. It was an easy but boring walk and our feet were pretty sore by the end.
It only took about ten minutes to get a hitch out and then it was a twenty minute ride to town. We checked in at the hostel just as the temperature felt like it was plummeting. We did manage to drag ourselves back out for fish and chips and to do our resupply shop before heading back, showering, and crashing. We also made a quick stop at the outdoor sports store as my shoes created another hole in the socks in the same spot so I made good use of the lifetime guarantee and swapped them out again.