43km, 11 hours
It’s a long day here in Rohan, and I wish I had my horse. The scenes of yellow tussock valleys, mountain vistas, and wild rivers are epic. But it’s a long, dry day. This landscape is parched. The history of the region says trees once grew here, but a single fire wiped them out and the poor soil meant no regeneration.
Instead, this remote part of New Zealand is home to a handful of sheep “stations”. Apparently, a station is an official term applied to properties of more than 10,000 hectares (~30,000 acres). Essentially these farms own every mountain and valley you can see and walk through for at least half the day. Still, it’s hard land and the sheep are rather sparse.