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 really clear, and at the points where the track elevated, I could see down into the shimmering blue lake, thinking how great it would be to have a swim. I reached Glendhu Bay at around 10.30am and treated myself to a Trumpet ice-cream but drew the line at having a pie, as I was carrying lots of trail food.
The Glendhu Bay Motor camp site is the Kiwi equivalent of the Costa del sol. It was absolutely packed with camper vans and huge tents (with all mod cons) 4x4s, utes and boats. The smell of boat fuel hung in the air as dads towed their kids on inflatables or water skis. Amazingly, at lake Hawea just down the road, there hadn’t been a soul! Clearly this is the place to be… If you enjoy taking your summer holiday in a very small space next to a lake with 3000 other people!
Glendhu Bay to the Mototapu Track
A couple of Kms of gravel road walk followed, then I reached the start of the Motatapu track to Queenstown. While I was reading the notice board, a guy in a yellow kilt came running past Northbound … random. I wondered if he was TA but thought not as he only had a day pack. I’ll update you if I hear of him again.
I started the Motatapu track. Part of the land the track goes over is owned by the singer Shania Twain – a condition of her purchasing the land in 2004 being that it be opened up to Te Araroa. Shania has a magnificent back yard!!! The track was beautiful. It began with a 400m steady uphill climb through a nice variety of land, latterly traversing a lovely beech forest. Even though this was the ‘easy’ day of this trail my legs remembered how tough it was to climb after the recent days off.
Fern Burn hut
I reached Fern Burn hut at about 2.30pm. It was a really nice 12 bunk hut, magnificent views, with a loo that was clean and without flies. There were a few people at the hut already, German, Dutch and Austrian tourists and Te Araroa trail NOBOs and SOBOs. As the weather was looking ok, I decided to tent outside the hut. I have trouble sleeping in huts – as I’m a really light sleeper – ear plugs are of little use to someone like me 🙁
As it was another scorcher of a day, I went to the little river nearby for a swim… It was freezing but lovely to cool off!!
The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting with my lovely new hut buddies. I had a micro nap around 4pm, then thankfully 5pm rolled around so I could legitimately eat again.
Early bed tonight. I’m experimenting with soaking my brekkie of porridge oats and goji berries overnight tonight for the first time, to see how a cold breakfast goes.