Rangitata to Lake Hawea 2600km

Here close to Wanaka… close to 2600km (crazy)
Some advice as usual:

* Rangitata River is crossable.

*To the following hut (crooked Spur) you can miss the marker on the left river bank… no matter it could event be better to follow the river bed up to the steep uphill to the hut instead of going steeply up and then down to avoid the river bed

*Refill with plenty suncream, i ran out of it 2 days before Tekapo… i just burned… (crazy no? no rain all this month)

* by the way, at Stag Saddle, just follow the West Ridge, not down the valley or you will miss the view

*After Tekapo, once you reach Pukaki Lake, you may have the idea to turn right to follow the lake to the north to go to Mt Cook Village instead of going south to Twizel… That’s nice to take pictures of Mt Cook, but after 1,5days following the gravel road and then the Alps to Ocean cycle trail, the track disappear at the bottom of a cliff and the river is uncrossable… so you are screwed and walk back 80km to Twizel. I did it for you so don’t waste your time

*Then up to Wanaka, juste take your time, slow down, you will meet a lot of NoBo tramper telling you “you are almost done, only 3 to 4 weeks” and then you may (i am) feel so bad “I DONT WANT TO FINISH IT IM SO GOOD IN THE MOUNTAINS”

*Slowing down you may meet Nobo and Sobo hikers almost once a day and starting to tell to yourself “Te Araroa is dead… this track starts to be overcrowded…”

*In Timaru section, after Top Timaru Hut, if the river is low, don’t follow the track, just follow the river bed. The track sucks and might even be exposed, it just try to avoid the river. The river bed is so nice! no dangerous traps, almost only ankle deep, just a narrow place with waist deep water for 5m… it is just aquatic hiking, not canyoning… Just it is impossible to know when to join the track back before going uphill if you dont rely on a GPS

*Last advice… TAKE YOUR TIME and ENJOY the track as much as you can because it seems that we are close to the end…

Pics from Rangitata to Tekapo are here (on this link)


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