From the gold mining ruins of Macetown, we walked down to Arrowtown. Unlike Macetown, Arrowtown is a happening place, bustling with tourists. It has that somewhat tacky but fun feel of an old west gold town re-creation, not unlike Ballarat (Australia), Tombstone (Arizona), or Dawson City (Yukon).
After enjoying Wanaka with Alison and Brian, we set out on the final section of mountainous walking on the Te Araroa.
The walk from Lake Hawea to Wanaka is along a pleasant cycle track. We saw many people out for fun rides and jogging and lots of happy dogs.
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.
It was a beautiful morning walking down through wavy golden grass to the sparkling turquoise Lake Tekapo.
We’ve made it to the highest point on the Te Araroa trail! After Wayne shuttled us around the Rangitata River, we rejoined the trail with some wisps of rain cloud still in the air.
After a night in the little town of Methven, we met up with Wayne from Alps2Ocean. Wayne shuttles cyclists and trampers all around this part of New Zealand and he offered to take us back to the trail on the south side of the Rakaia River. We met Wayne at the Primo Cafe, which felt like sitting in someone’s living room. Small towns have the most interesting and unexpected shops.
It took us six days to walk from Boyle Village to Arthur’s Pass and we were looking forward to a shower and a comfy bed. Every last room was booked up for the big race, so we caught a ride back to the trail and stayed at the unassuming Bealy Hut.
After four weeks of walking south along New Zealand’s national trail, Te Araroa, we paused for a nice break in locally famous Hamner Springs.
We’re into our fourth week of hiking down the South Island of New Zealand along the Te Araroa Trail. The scenery continues to change surprisingly quickly. We’ve gone from hidden ocean coves to cool green rivers, dense steamy rainforest, and now clear blue alpine lakes surrounded by jagged peaks.