Te Araroa Trail Riverton to Bluff
I was up and out this morning to catch the minibus to Invercargill at 7.45 am. It was an awful day in Southland – about 10 degrees celsius and very windy and rainy. I’m glad I made the decision to skip the 30km beach walk, and the further 30km walk along State Highway 1 to Bluff.
The minibus journey took about 40 minutes to Invercargill. From there I walked to the ISite where the bus went to Bluff. This new trial bus service started last week (runs until April) and it’s $10pp one way. I was the only passenger so sat up the front. I chatted with the driver about the community/council initiative to get the bus trial going, and how it would hopefully make Invercargill more accessible for the residents of Bluff and for tourists.
Arriving at Bluff
When I got off the bus at 9.15 am I staggered/was buffeted the 2kms or so, around to Stirling Point to ‘the signpost’ where I took a couple of snaps. Thankfully it wasn’t raining at this point, it was just extremely windy! I went to have a coffee and collect my finishers medal (I’m not finished yet, but won’t be back to get one!!) at the Oyster Cove cafe, but they didn’t open until 11 am.
I walked back very slowly against the gale-force winds to Bluff village and enjoyed a hot chocolate and a toastie in the Lighthouse cafe.
Just as I was leaving a carload of tourists had just turned up, so I got a hitch back with them. Once back in Invercargill I went back to the ISite and got my medal. It was surprisingly large and heavy, so I’ll be posting it back home asap.
The weather became even worse, so I was glad my hostel the Southern Comfort BBH backpackers was nearby. It was a charming hostel in a large, beautiful old house, with a lovely host Brenda. It felt just like coming home rather than staying in a hostel. I bumped into a lovely English girl who had been in my dorm in Wellington just before Christmas, and we swapped stories about our trips.
As the weather howled around the house, I settled in and watched a movie. Thankfully I had one dehydrated meal left, so I didn’t need to go back outside at all.
*Edit 2021 – There is now a walkway between Invercargill and Bluff. I will endeavour to come back and walk this section one day 🙂