Te Araroa Trail Burtton’s Track and Tararuas
My night alone in the bush by the stream was great! I only had one mystery-noise experience and feel back to sleep immediately afterwards.
I was back onto the Burtton’s track at 7am. There were a few early river crossings and steep sided river banks to negotiate today, so I was very glad I didn’t go any further last night. Today was another hot, tough one – 27kms of small mountains. To make up for the hills terrain was very pretty through the native forest and the pathways were mostly dry. There were a few other Te Araroa hikers on the trail today and we passed each other as we had our breaks.
Today I headed out of the Manawatu region and into the Wellington region. This is the final stretch of the North Island!! The Burtton’s Track turned into the Tokomaru Valley Road, and then into the Mangahao-Makahika track. I climbed to 650m to a nice lookout on the mountain top with views across Horowhenua, the Manawatu and South to Kapiti Island. This led into the Makahika valley and Gladstone road.
I was somewhat preoccupied with my new pack today, which I picked up in Whanganui as the first one had ripped. I had my concerns when I opened the pack and tried it on for the first time. Although it was supposed to be exactly the same pack, it didn’t fit the same as the last one.
Over the past few days, and upon detailed inspection of the pack, I noticed that this (new) one was built differently on the frame. It’s higher at the back, but once fully loaded the other differences were really noticeable all over. The straps were different lengths than before, the waistband is different and the lumbar support etc. This pack was definitely a different size to the one I had before. Whilst I’ll have to manage with it over the Tararuas, I’ll need to swap it out for another new one in Wellington 🙁
Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre
Tonight’s port of call was the Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre. This amazing centre works with a variety of people (young people to corporates) and provides all manner of outdoor activities to test and challenge people’s boundaries. Sally is also a Te Araroa Trail Angel, and provides camping and incredible hospitality to TA hikers.
I arrived at the centre with a few other hikers. Sally greeted us, showed us to some huge pitched tents and gave us some tips about tomorrow’s big climb into the Tararua mountains. We enjoyed a great night and lovely hospitatily.