We had a wonderful break at the Lake Ohau Lodge. All rested up, we were ready to hit the trail again. We began by following the A2O (Alps to Ocean) cycling track for a few miles. This is a continuation of the same cycling route we rode from Lake Tekapo to Ohau a few days earlier.
Soon we began climbing back up into the hills.
The views of Lake Ohau behind us were wonderful. The intense colour of New Zealand’s lakes never ceases to amaze me.
We were eager to cross the Ahuriri River, the largest unbridged river on the Te Araroa. Many people lose their balance in the fast deep water and get swept downstream. Rarely is this serious, but I’d rather not go for a surprise swim in the frigid water. I picked my way across carefully and managed to avoid going much more than knee deep. Big sigh of relief!
We stopped in the early afternoon at an old musterer’s hut. Sometimes it’s wonderful to have a short day, swimming in the refreshing stream, and soaking up the warm sun.
The next day began warm and calm but the sky soon turned dark and threatening. The golden tussock covered hills began to turn black in the distance.
Luckily, we got bunks in the very comfortable Top Timaru Hut for the night. I slept so well despite the pounding rain outside.
As we began walking the next day, the rain subsided to a gentle sprinkle. There are many stream crossings and the cloudy water was a bit unnerving as you have no idea how deep the next step will be but all turned out to be fairly shallow. The water was pretty chilly, though, and this was the first day in New Zealand that I’ve felt a bit cold.
Even with the rain and cloud, the views were still great.
We stopped for the night at Stodys Hut, another old musterer’s hut.
Much more basic than any other hut we’ve stayed in, this one has dirt floors and tin walls but a crackling fire warmed us right up.
The next morning was again clear and beautiful. We climbed up Breast Hill for spectacular views of Mount Aspiring, with a fresh dusting of snow from the night before.
The descent from Breast Hill was long and tricky with lots of scrambly sections, even some where you would want hand holds and you definitely don’t want to fall.
We’ve made it to the little town of Lake Hawea in time to snag the last available bed. It’s in an old caravan! Fun.