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Day 51-55: Lake Middleton Campsite to Wanaka to Queenstown. 2503km-2616/2710km - 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

Day 51/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

East Ahuriri Track

ℹ️Stats: Tuesday 20th February

Weather: hot & sunny ☀️

From: Lake Middleton Campsite

Start time: 8.10am

To: 2527.5 - 4km before the river crossing

End time: 4.30pm

Accommodation: wild camping 🏕️

Terrain: road, grassy tracks, forest, wet & muddy.

🥾Km: 17.6

🦶Steps: 22,607

Total Km: 2527.5/3028 = 83 % ✅

💰Costs: $0

Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 8/10 - epic day 🥳

Fatigue: 2/10 - feeling good

Ease of terrain: 3/10 - one big climb - then lots of descent.

⭐️Highlights: I found the most gorgeous camping spot. Out of the wind - in the sunshine and there are no sandflies.

It’s so beautiful- I feel so happy 😁.

Just as I’ve typed this up - someone else has also decided to camp here - which is obviously ok - but so annoying as I wanted the place to myself!

I also saw Pierre (🇫🇷) again (I last saw him at Arthur’s Pass) - it was lovely to catch up and hear his news.

🏔️Challenges: a few sections where it wasn’t easy to navigate. But I’ve come to expect that now - it’s just the TA.

Towards the end of the day it was very swampy and muddy and not easy to find the track. But again - it is what it is.

💭Thoughts: what a beautiful section and what a gorgeous day. I’ve really enjoyed it 😀. I’m so excited for the next few days. This is the ‘easy’ before the final week when I have to do some big km days!!!


Day 52/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

Breast Hill Track

ℹ️Stats: Wednesday 21st February

Weather: very hot & sunny ☀️

From: 2527.5 - wild camping ⛺️

Start time: 9.15am

To: Top Timaru Hut 🛌

End time: 5.20pm

Accommodation: bottom bunk in the hut

Terrain: Rocky, grassy, tracks

🥾Km: 20.1

🦶Steps: 25,725

Total Km: 2556/3028 = 84% ✅


Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 8/10

Fatigue: 3/10

Ease of terrain: 5/10

⭐️Highlights: being saved from the cows by a NOBO hiker - it was perfect timing!

🏔️Challenges: so many cows 🐄 - in one section. Not my thing. It was super hot today - really hot - very draining to walk in and I like the heat. The sandflies were horrendous- and they seem to love biting me - especially around the ankles!

💭Thoughts: I’ve really been enjoying the past few days and the weather helps as well 😀☀️


Day 53/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

ℹ️Stats: Thursday 22nd February

Weather: sunny & hot ☀️

From: Top Timaru Hut

Start time: 10.50am

To: Stodys Hut

End time: 5.30pm

Accommodation: hut - old - bottom bunk

Terrain: BRUTAL - rocks, river, steep banks,

🥾Km: 7.3* *watch - TA app 14km

🦶Steps: 9311

Total Km: 2569/3028 = 85% ✅

💰Costs: $0

Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 5/10

Fatigue: 3/10

Ease of terrain: 9/10 the final 2k - WTF 😳

⭐️Highlights: making it to the hut in one piece. Not sliding back down the steep bank into the river.

🏔️Challenges: such a tough day - the first 2k was fine, then I mostly walked the river bed, had 2 sections were I needed to back track and climb up the steep sides to get back on track, as I couldn’t do the river section.

Plus the 2k before Stodys hut - it was a brutal climb up. It felt vertical at times. I also fell twice - scraped knees and elbows. Plus the sandflies were all over me all the time.

💭Thoughts: - 500m vertical over 2k in 90 mins - I’m so glad I was going up it and not down. It would destroy your knees.


Day 54/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

ℹ️Stats: Friday 23rd February

Weather: Sunny ☀️ & hot

From: Stodys Hut

Start time: 11am

To: just before Albert Town

End time: 9.15pm

Accommodation: wild camped ⛺️

Terrain: 4WD tracks, steep technical downhill climbing, gravel road, cycle pathway

🥾Km: 27.5

🦶Steps: 34,486

Total Km: 2601/3028 = 86% ✅

💰Costs: $17.60 2x ribena, double caramel chocolate bar, ice lolly.

Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 8/10 - super solid day! Really pleased with how it all went.

Fatigue: 3/10

Ease of terrain: 4/10 apart from 1 - 2km downhill section - which was technical and hard going at times. The rest of the trail was nice.

⭐️Highlights: walked with Lucky Hat 🍀 🧢(🇨🇦) and Wild Turkey (🇺🇸), also stopped and had a mini break at a cafe with them before wild camping. Both good fun with great chat.

The views from Breast Hill were awesome 🤩

It was nice getting to Lake Hawea and having some good flat terrain to walk on. Did a 20 min run (Wild Turkey ran with me for about 10 mins)

🏔️Challenges: I didn’t get a huge amount of sleep last night due to the noise the mice 🐭 were making. They were having a great time!

⛰️the technical descent was hard going at times, but it wasn’t too horrendous!

💭Thoughts: excited to reach Wanaka tomorrow (15km to go) and complete this section. ✅

Only the final section from Queenstown to to! 314km!!🥳👍


Day 55/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

Outlet; Beacon Point, and Bremner Bay Tracks

ℹ️Stats: Saturday 24th February

Weather: cloudy ☁️

From: just before Albert Town

Start time: 7.20am

To: Wanaka & then bus to Queenstown

End time: 10.15am / 4.20pm

Accommodation: Absoloot Hostel - top bunk

Terrain: sandy, gravel roads, road,

🥾Km: 18.5

🦶Steps: 23,598

Total Km: 2616/3028 Wanaka = 86% ✅

2710/3028 = Queenstown 89% ✅

💰Costs: Bus to Queenstown $28

Final Food resupply New World (I hope) $138

Macpac - New socks & pack liner $20

Lunch $26

FergBurger 🍔 $19

Drinks Ferg’s Bar $20 tutti Frutti 🍹cocktail

Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 8/10

Fatigue: 4/10

Ease of terrain: 2/10

⭐️Highlights: chatting and walking with Lucky Hat (🇨🇦) into Wanaka.

Bumping into Roxanne (🇩🇪) at the supermarket.

🍔Burger & cocktails at Ferg’s in Queenstown.

Julia @juliagsauthorspeaker a past guest and member of the Tough Girl Tribe. Reached out as she’s in Queenstown and she’s offered to drive me to the start of the next track tomorrow 🥳🥳🥳

🏔️Challenges: trying to sleep above someone who snores. 💤

💭Thoughts: so pleased I don’t need to hitch and I can catch up with Julia and hear all about her NZ adventures. Plus she’s picking me up at 7.45am - so we’ll get there before 10am - which is awesome 🙌 especially as I need to start putting in the miles to catch my flight ✈️ by the 4th 😎



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