Te Araroa Trail Day 106. North Mavora Lake 2753kms – 3rd Swingbridge 2775.7kms

Te Araroa Trail Day 106 - Mavora Lakes

Te Araroa Trail Mavora Lakes

My morning routine on the shores of the North Mavora Lake was probably the most chaotic I’ve ever had on Te Araroa! As there was no wind overnight I had a very dewy-wet tent and the sandflies (which were completely absent last night) tore into me this morning. I spent the takedown and breakfast in continual motion moving, slapping and batting like a mad woman!

It turned out to be another scorcher of a day. I got to the Mavora Lakes Campsite at 11am via the 4 wheel drive track. Most of it was a real 4WD track too – pretty gnarly ups/downs (if you’re in a vehicle), rocks, boulders, dips, rivers, huge puddles etc. Judging by the number of buggies and motorbikes who passed me, it’s well used too. It was beautiful to walk alongside the lake and really enjoyed it.

Mavora Lakes Campsite Te Araroa Mavora Lakes

I used the facilities at the Mavora Lake campsite and judging by the stench and uncomposted pinnacle of poo in the toilet, I’d say this is site is generally very very busy – it was pretty terrible.

After a wander through the campsite I followed the trail into the lovely beech forest. I reached the second swing bridge at the South Mavora lakes a couple of hours later at 1pm after a lovely chat with a NOBO couple from the USA.

The water in the lake was clear and emerald green, and there were a few fly fishermen trying their luck. I had lunch in a cool shady spot, and left at 1.30pm. Today’s goal was to pass the 3rd swing bridge, then head on to Kiwi Burn hut.

At 3.30pm I reached the third swingbridge. Just over the bridge there was a toilet and a place to camp.

Decisions… Decisions

I dithered for a while…. because I was pretty low on food. Actually, I wasn’t really – I had one more breakfast, lunch and dinner left, but I was completely out of snacks and I was really hungry for snacks!! In the end my stomach got the better of me and told me to hitch to Te Anau for dinner and skip the next 30km river and road walk. Slightly poor form maybe, but I didn’t regret at it all – I’m here to enjoy this trail, and food is a big thing for me! 🙂

Te Araroa Trail Day 106 - Swingbridge after Mavora Lakes
Te Araroa Trail Day 106 – Swingbridge after Mavora Lakes

Te Anau

I figured that day trippers from Mavora lakes might be heading back towards Te Anau. Luckily they arrived within 20 minutes in the form of a cute young German couple Paula and Fabian, who gave me a lift in their lovely little van. I checked into the Te Anau Kiwi Holiday Park In the evening I did my resupply shopping and went for a very large and delicious bowl of pasta from La Toscana, which I spent digesting until approximately 2am!

During that time I re-thought my immediate hiking plans. I’ve recently sorted my post-TA 2018 whereabouts. My future now involves a long visit to see family in the USA and UK returning to NZ in September.

Now that I have a plan with flights booked etc. I’ve decided that I’m going to leave Rakiura/Stewart Island for another time. Stewart Island isn’t on Te Araroa trail, but I was intending to tag it on when I got to Bluff. Without Stewart Island, I will finish around mid March. This gives me a month to sort myself out and possibly squeeze in a few weeks work before my next holidays!

I’m looking forward to a rest day in Te Anau, before hitching back out to start the Southland stretch of the trail to Bluff over the coming week.

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