What an amazing day. The first few steps into the Te Ureweras made me forget the 100km gravel Road last night and turning up in the dark with no food for dinner as Irene only packed food for 3 days on the trail.! Oh well made breakfast taste good. Stunning views made the hard climb up to the Panekire hut worthwhile. Felt like we were the only ones walking through the thickest beech forest I had even been through. Decided to carry on to the next hut after 4 hrs. Steep decent to Waiopaoa hut took us 3 hrs. Just in time to catch the sun and have a quick bath in the lake.
Waiopaoa hut to Marauiti hut approx 24km. Side trip to Korokoro falls well worth it but not brave enough for a swim. Beautiful track with ups n downs all day. Was fairly knackered when we stopped for lunch at 1.30 but hot noodles, tuna, an egg, protein shake and a long black gave us the energy to bound on to hut. Thick punga forest felt like something out of Dr Who movie. Lots of deer tracks. Hut was cool, met hunters who gave us a beer n wine while we ate our freeze dry meal. Sleep to the sound of the kiwis calling, roar of the stags and the hunters snoring!
No need to get up early today as only 3 hour hike to meet boat. NOT… Someones alarm went off in hut at 4am, (4 times) then another at 6.30am. Oh well we snuggled in sleeping bags reading our kindles to avoid the morning rush (and the smell of cooking bacon n eggs as we only had 1pkt of quick porridge to share between us)
Happy to be walking again, chatting about the intense stars we saw the previous night. Passed the hut where other hikers reported mice running around all night and discussing the skills required of the bow hunter we met at last hut. 2 hrs wait for pick up so we cooked up our last freeze dried meal we had and last 2 lemon fooze balls.
Boat ride made us appreciate the hike and area we were in. Incredible trip, would recommend to anyone.