Te Araroa NOBO (Days 36-39)

Day 36

The goal for the day was to get from the West Coast to Reefton. I had spoken with a hiker a couple of weeks back who told me that Reefton was a good place for resupply before the Boyle Village section. That was the plan! I had most of my meals ready to go, but I wanted to grab a few last-minute snacks for the trail.

Before I continue, let me back up a few days. I spent the weekend WWOOFing with a kind woman named Julie. (WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) I had WWOOFed in America in California, Texas, and Michigan, so I was familiar with the process. In exchange for work, the WWOOFer is provided with lodging and food. When I WWOOFed in California, I worked on a vineyard. In Texas, I helped out on a ranch. Here, in Charleston, Julie asked for some help around the garden and with organizing inside. I was able to help her by cutting back some rose bushes and blackberry vines. I also helped to hang pictures in her house. Julie had a kayak, and on Saturday, she drove me down to the river to go kayaking. It was a lovely weekend!

On Monday, she drove me to the crossroads where I would be able to get a hitch into Reefton. After waiting only 8 minutes, a van pulled over. I got to meet Kevin and hear about his 5-month adventure here in New Zealand. He’s from Scotland and gave me great tips and advice for my potential Scotland hike in the future. We enjoyed a coffee in town before I made my way to the Reefton Motor Camp to set up my tent for the evening.

The town of Reefton is small but fun! There are multiple trails around the town, and I did one that brought me along the old buildings. Reefton is known as the town of lights since it was the first to get streetlights – in 1886. The hour-long path that I walked was so rich in history. I wanted to stay longer, but I also wanted to get back to the trail. I’d definitely visit Reefton again if given the chance!

Day 37

After seven days away from the Te Araroa, I was antsy to get back and continue my tramp north. Andre, a kind man from Slovenia, had offered to drive me part of the way to the trail. So, after breakfast, coffee, and packing up, we made our way east. He drove me 44 km, and then he helped me get another ride into the trail. I was so grateful!

The second vehicle brought me into Boyle Village, and I was ready to start hiking at noon. I was hoping for a longer day of hiking today, but I decided only to walk to Boyle Flats Hut (7ish miles and a little less than 4 hours). It was a cloudy and breezy day, and I was so happy to be back on the trail!

Day 38

It was a shorter walk today, and I’m never sure what to do when I get to the hut so early. I began the trail at 7:30 and arrived to Anne Hut by noon. It was a 10-mile day, but it was a cruisy walk. I arrived just in time for lunch, and I spent the afternoon reading and napping. There were two hunters at the hut already, and they went out in the afternoon to look for deer. They said that they spotted two, but that they got more drenched from the rain than anything else. When the rain started and didn’t let up, I was grateful to be at the hut already. Four SOBO hikers arrived to the hut around 4pm, so there ended up being 9 of us in the hut for the night. Right before the sun set, a rainbow appeared (that’s the picture for this post)!

Day 39

What a wet, wet day! It was drizzling when I left, and as I continued, the rain grew heavier. The wind was blowing quite hard for the first half of the day as well. I’ve had mostly good weather the entire time I’ve been here, and this rain was not a welcome visitor.

I knew it was going to be a longer day, so I left the hut at 6:30 – about 45 minutes before the sun rose. I enjoyed the morning walk with my headlamp. It was slow going since I could only see a few steps in front of me, but I liked the crisp morning air. The walk for the day was quite easy. I followed a two-track for the majority of the day, and I was thankful for the path. Because of the rain, I kept my head mostly down with my hood up and my backpack rain cover intact.

Towards the end of the day, there were a few river crossings. One of them was over thigh deep and swiftly moving. It made me nervous to cross! Soon, I was at Waiau Hut! Time for a late lunch!

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