Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rakiura Great Walk - Stewart Island

After the conference a few of us took the opportunity to explore Stewart Island a little more. We had hoped to fly over to the west coast, which is well known for having lots of kiwis, but the weather was too foul to fly.

The team - Alan, Shane, Kareen, Helen and Dave

So instead we took a water taxi, north along the more sheltered east coast and then walked the Rakiura Great Walk.

Pushing the water taxi off Bungaree Beach

Bungaree Hut, right on the beach

Walking along the beach to the track

The weather was pretty interesting.... lots of little hail storms passing through, followed by sunny spells. At least the hail mostly just bounces off and you don't get soaking wet. However it does eventually melt - so the track was pretty wet and muddy in places. Stewart Island is well known for mud, so some of us just embraced it - while others tried to avoid it by climbing around the track!

Hail collected in the centre of the ferns

Wet and muddy track

We walked from Bungaree Hut to Port William. We got to the hut mid afternoon and spend the rest of the day reading books in front of the fire in the hut, trying to fish of the pier and drinking lots of tea.

Shane and Kareen trying to fish off the landing dock - thankfully we brought plenty of food and didn't have to rely on them catching anything!

Sitting in the hut drinking tea and playing cards, billies heading up on the fire for the next round of tea!

The next day we walked to North Arm hut. The route took us through areas of forest that had been logged for the large Rimu and other trees. There were lots of evidence of the historical logging - the old rail way tracks, the log haulers, areas of forest with very few large trees and lots of new growth.

Log haulers left behind in the forest

North Arm of Patterson Inlet - the view from the hut

After 3 nights in huts we walked back to civilisation, well showers and the pub in Oban. The lovely lady who looked after the bach we were staying at in Oban had put on the fire for us....
We had a great time in Stewart Island. It is a beautiful place and a great escape from everyday stresses.

Rainbow over Halfmoon Bay with Oban in the background

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