I have just completed the 82km Heaphy track in the North West of the South Island. It was incredible each day was different than the last in both the terrain and nature surrounding it.The majority of Day 1 was spent clibing up to Perry Saddle, a height of 900m starting from about 200m at the parking lot, the ofrest in this par was not quite subtropic, but close in some parts. Upon reaching the saddle I then started down the other side where the track got much rockier and the tress almost disappeared, buy the time I had reached the hut that night I was surrounded by an area of near desert with short grasses, this area is called the Gouland Downs.
Day 2 began by entering what many have described as a magic forest, due to the nature of the limestone, very few shurbs and tress grow, moss however covers everything including the few trees. I regret that I did not take a photo as I was so enchanted with the place and didn’t realize till later that is was the only one. Following that is was back out into the downs and ducking in and out of small stands of twisted trees ocationally. From the hut at the end of this day you can see the Heaphy river mouth, where you spend the next night.
Day 3 was spent heading down to the coast through sub tropic forest, crossing many small rivers and streams, and traversing quite a few swing bridges. I all but gave up attempting to keep my feet day after the first hour, it was damn near impossible. Even the mother and daughter I had met on the treck with waterproof boots were soaked.
The final day was spent ducking in and out of the tripical forest on to the beach and back as I followed the coastline to the final destination. The was one last push up a sizeable hill and back down before finishing the hike.
I am now in Hokitika, a town of many jade shops and even places you can carve your own. I went looking along the river in an attempt to find my own jade, however it was harder than the fishermen made it sound. You can also pan for gold here, but lacking a car I can’t get to the right locations. So I am just killing a little time, enjoying the beach, going to see glow worms at night and planning my next adventure, hiking a glacier.
Random thoughts: From an old guy on the hike as sunset approached and the clouds got quite thick, “Nope, there won’t be a sunset tonight, it’s just going to get dark!”
I can’t wait for a time when there isn’t a bunk above me to hit my head on!
Gouland downs, close to where I spent my first night on Heaphy.
The shoe pole on the way to the first camp site. Look closelay and you’ll see a bra and a rollerblade.
A view from the first camp site the next morning.
The Heaphy river mouth.
From the Heaphy river mouth, a view of where I’d be tramping the next day.
The view at the end of the tramp.