The Gillespie Pass Circuit
If you're looking for a fantastic multi day tramp with beautiful dense forest, mountains galore, wide valleys, rivers and a beautiful lake, then the 58Km Gillespie Pass Circuit in Mount Aspiring National Park might be for you. It begins close to Makarora, a small settlement an hours' drive to the North of Wanaka.
The Gillespie Pass circuit is a loop track. You can start just South of Makarora up the Wilkin river, or from a few Kms North of Makarora up...
Ten Te Araroa Trail Truths
1. Where there are no sandflies, there are mosquitoes.
2. There will be a river crossing (and wet feet) ten mins after you set off in the morning and ten mins before arriving at camp for the night.
3. Where there is a shortcut, there will be thorny bushes.
4. The ‘flat’ part of the trail will hide large ruts, holes, bogs, streams or boulders.
5. Injuries will only be sustained on the ‘easy’ sections, tripping over your own feet or checking your phone.
6. If your camp has a toilet, you will need to go approximately 15 mins after hitting the trail that day.
7. You haven’t washed properly for weeks, but your skin looks amazing.
8. When you skinnydip in a river, four more TA hikers will arrive at that very moment.
9. Mice are rampant in the hut where you forgot to hang up your food bag.
10. You’ll find that the luxury lodge offers cheap camping & free hot tubs, the day after you wild camped next to it.
I got an early start today and was ready with my very best 'pick me up' smile at 7am for a hitch on the road to Mossburn. Te Araroa trail started approx 30km East of Te Anau. By 7.45am I hadn't had a sniff of a lift, so I googled buses out of town. There was an InterCity leaving for Mossburn at 8am, so I bought a ticket online and hurried back into town to catch it. I explained to the driver that I didn't want to go all the way to Mossburn and he kindly dropped me off at the Princhester road...
It was a beautiful starry night in Otago last night. There aren't many parts of the world where you get a night sky like this. If only I had my glasses and not just my contacts I'd get the full benefit, but I could still make out the milky way which is pretty good.
I had a great sleep but I was woken up by 2 possums prowling around the tent and hissing at each other around 4am. I got up at 5.30am and out by 6.15am. Today was going to be a big day of climbing on the Motatapu track, so I...
Te Araroa Trail Wanaka to Fern Burn Hut - Motatapu Track
Wanaka to Glendhu Bay
It was difficult to get up at 5.30am today, as I've been sleeping in a little for the past couple of days. I left the holiday park at 7am for the 15km walk along Lake Wanaka to Glendhu Bay. The track was a wide and easy cycling and walking track with a few little ups and downs. It was a beautiful walk heading out of Wanaka, and I passed lots of runners, walkers and cyclists.
The lake was...
Te Araroa Trail Pelorous Bridge to Middy hut
I had a sleep-in to start the new year and woke at 6.30am. We left at 7.30am to hike the 14km road section of Te Araroa trail to the Pelorous trail head - a nice road walk which followed the Pelorus river. We weren't sure which hut we'd get to but were generally aiming for Middy Creek hut.
Not feeling great
It was hot, overcast and extremely humid, and I found it really hard going with such a heavy pack containing 10 days of...