Day 14: Greenstone Hut to Lake Wakatipu

Sun 5 February 2017

  • Km today: 12
  • Total Km: 320

I was up with the sparrows in order to get away early. I knew there would be a noon shuttle from Greenstone car park otherwise likely that I would be hitching it out of Dodge. I was out the door at 0730 and down the steep track to cross the Greenstone River, bridge provided. The more important the track the better it is maintained and this was much better than what I was used to. Even the beech forests couldn’t put me off today. The track went through grassland, forest and crossed many streams which were often at the bottom of picturesque waterfalls. The fat little bush robins were out and about and like the fantail they are not afraid to get close to humans, knowing that your scuffing of the floor will reveal their meals. The track was up down and all around which made for interesting walking and the river rushed headlong beside all the way. A young French tramper who had been at the hut last night startled me as he came up my rear so fast. He had come from the Divide yesterday and was intending to do the Caples loop ending back at the same place today – a distance of 50km! Oh to be 20 something again. It reminded me of the Annapuna hike in Nepal that I did with Donna and Jeanette back in the early 90’s when we were smoking like trains as we trotted about the Himalayas. Ha that was youff! After a few hours I came out onto a sunlit grass flat which looked up the Caples River Valley. I can see why it is a popular tramping destination. A swingbridge crosses the river then it was a short walk out to the car park which I reached at 1100.

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After hanging around in the sun for an hour the van arrived. Fortunately there was space available for me too. The Greenstone car park is on the opposite side of the lake from Glenorchy so it is quite a drive there and further onto Queenstown. We arrived in Glenorchy and it was pumping, there were cars and people everywhere. I had time for lunch before the next shuttle to Queenstown. Time to start catching up on the blog. I also had to get out to the airport to retrieve my toiletry bag as this numbskull had left it in Te Anau. Fortunately my exceedingly clever friend Cathy had deposited it in a locker at the airport as she had flown back to Auckland on Saturday. That retrieved I could get on with laundry and blogging.

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