Te Araroa South Island Part IV: Wanaka to Bluff (The End)

Wanaka is a cool town, I think I would call it my favorite town along the Te Araroa. Even I did just spend one night there, as in most other towns during the hike.
I left the town on the same cycle trail I came from the day before towards the Motatapu Track which leads the way to Arrowtown. After the first day on the Motatapu Track I met another hiker at the hut I stayed for the night. Gerald from Germany. He hiked the North Island too and was on the trail for about 3 months. We had a lot to talk about and decided to hike together for the next stretch. Our hiking paces matched pretty good and so we ended up walking all the way to Bluff together which took us about 14 days.
In Queenstown we met  Michelle and Tim, who are friends of Gerald. We walked the Rees-Dart Track for 4 days together. The Rees-Dart Track was a real highlight and I am glad I decided to take a break from the TA to do it with them. We took it really easy so I could mix in some trail running  in the afternoons. Tim and Michelle dropped us off at the Greenstone Trail Head after we finished the Rees-Dart so Gerald and I could continue on our journey to Bluff.

The last two weeks on the route where nice hiking and a good mixture of alpine terrain, rain forests, dirt roads, farmlands and finally coastal walks. It was a really good feeling to see the ocean again out of Longwood Forest. We knew the end is near and that we where ready for it and finish the hike. The last 25km out of Invercargill where mentally tough. I did not hitchhike anywhere else on the South Island so I just got it done as fast as possible in walking pace. Also it would have been wrong to leave Gerald on this final part of his hike.
After arriving at the yellow signpost in Bluff, we took our finishing pictures and hitched a ride back to Invercargill. The next day I left for another week of hiking on Stewart Island.

I think I still need more time to sort my thoughts about this trip. I have seen a lot and went through many different mental stages during my time in New Zealand. There will be an additional entry about that and I am also working on a walking guide for the South Island right now. I hope I can finish it during the summer.

 

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Snow on the peaks over Motatapu Track

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Hiking into the Rees Valey, Rees-Dart Track

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Towards Rees Saddle

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Back on the TA, sunrise at Mavora Lakes

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Long day on gravel roads towards Te Anau

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Beachwalk after Colac Bay

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The signpost at Bluff, the official southern terminus of the Te Araroa.

3 Responses

  1. This are absolutely *AMAZING* photos. Thank you so much for sharing them with us all!

    22. April 2014 at 18:51

    • Matthias

      Thank you for watching Tobi!

      23. April 2014 at 14:32

  2. Ink

    Da kann ich mich nur anschliessen. UNGLAUBLICH SCHÖNE BILDER!!! Danke fürs teilen.

    16. Februar 2016 at 19:42

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