26th December

17.8km

Nicols Hut 1555.2 to Parawei Hut 1573

“Wow, look at the view”, I shouted a little too loud. It was just after sunrise when I looked out the window of the hut. I glimpsed a valley, mountains, low clouds and occasional rays of sunshine. The last couple of days were a white out. We were all awake now. And the weather looked great.

It was 7am when we left our home. The place we spent Christmas, the place that kept us warm and dry. We cleaned the place and were satisfied that we left it in better condition than we found it.

There were views. The clouds formed in the low valleys and drifted upwards. At times we hiked through the clouds, at others times we had unlimited views. And the wind. Or lack of wind, at least for the first hour it was calm. As the morning progressed the wind picked up but only enough to cool down the sweat. This place was a paradise for mountain seeking hikers like myself. A kind of beauty and the beast type of mountain range.

Photo below by Jean

Photo below by Jean

It took a couple of hours to traverse the high exposed ridges before the trail descended over 1000 meters through muddy green forest. We all fell several times to the amusement of those that didn’t. After crossing a wire suspension bridge we made it to Waitewaewae Hut.

Our goal for the day was Parawei hut a further 12km away. 7 hours, the sign said. The trail rose and fell as it traversed dense forest and mountain streams. On several occasions I was treated to a wall of wood. A great wall of wood set across the trail like a cruel blockade. Many trees were down.

10am photo below

After 5 hours I set foot into the hut. A young family with a 1 year old crying baby greeted me. So ended my favorite and hardest section of trail to date, the Tararua Mountains.

For those of you that live vicariously through my travels would you like me to send you a postcard from New Zealand? I have set up a Patreon site with various levels of support. For those that would like to help out with my journey, I can give something in return. Thank you in advance. https://www.patreon.com/bikehikesafari


You might like to read:

Complete Te Araroa Trail
Te Araroa Trail Gear List
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

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7 Responses

  1. Carolyn McAlear

    A belated Merry Christmas, Brad. Thanks so much for the ten o’clock photos! I was on North Island in late January a few years ago and the weather wasn’t bad. So says an Oregonian hiker….

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      And merry Christmas to you and your family. February is usually the most stable month for weather in New Zealand closely followed by January. December was a mess, many locals agreed it was above average for crappyness. Let’s hope January brings great weather.

      Reply
  2. Nas

    Great photos! How did this section of the trail compare to difficult sections of other thru-hikes you’ve done? Easier/harder/about the same?

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Much harder than most due to the mud, tree roots and exposure to the bad weather. A New Zealand tramping track is very different from a USA style hiking trail.

      Reply
      • Nas

        Having never hiked in the USA (yet!), I’ve always wondered how our tracks compare! Thanks so much for taking the time to reply 🙂

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