I woke at 5am, and was out at 6.30am. I walked to lake Rotoiti and took a few photos. There’s a jetty here, which makes the ‘the’ iconic NZ photo, with the lake & misty mountains in the background. I got going through beech forest on the Lakehead track at 6.50am. This is part of a popular walk in the area the ‘Travers Sabine circuit’.
As there’s been a bit of rain recently, all the side streams were up and some were now quite large rivers. There were crossings every 10 mins or so, and much of the time the track itself was a stream too. Along the way I met Yali (Israeli) who I keep bumping into (Northland, and Nelson twice). He’s doing a bit of Te Araroa and lots of other New Zealand trails, so I must remember to get his itinerary off him before he goes home!
I reached Lakehead hut 9.15am had a quick break then walked up the Travers river grassy flats and into more beech forest for the next section. This followed the Travers river to John Tait hut, and was a really beautiful stretch.
The Travers river was up, and was roaring as the water tumbled over huge boulders. I arrived at John Tait hut at 1.15pm where I met Alistair (Brit/Canadian) who I’d met in the backpackers yesterday. We sat and chatted in the sunshine had some lunch, and dried our socks.
I left the hut at 1.50pm. The final section today was uphill to Upper Travers hut, still following the river valley. The hut sits at 1334m high, and was a climb of about 500m over 7km, so a good workout, but not too bad. Again there were lots of stream and river crossings, so wet feet again!!
Just before reaching the hut there was a really beautiful waterfall cascading down the mountain on the opposite side!! The trail eventually came out of the forest and into some tussock.
Upper Travers hut was sitting in a valley flanked on every side by huge peaks – the Travers range to the West and the St Arnaud range to the East and South – spectacular! I arrived at 4.15pm and set my tent up on the only tent site. There were around 15 people in the hut tonight.
I did the usual routine, had dinner, treated my feet, and settled in for an early night. Got a huge day tomorrow!