21km, 6.5 hours
Lake Wakatipu is another “hazard zone” meaning there’s no real hiking or cycle path to follow to the start of the Greenstone Trail that’s not a long narrow highway. You’re supposed to hitch or buy a ride nearly 3/4 of the way around the lake. We start early but it takes until 11:30 before we begin.
It’s a wonderful drive, and the shuttle we used has a long layover in Glenorchy, perhaps the best 300 person alpine town in New Zealand.
Back on the trail after our long Queenstown rest, everything has changed: no longer are we in dry mountains but the trees have returned, and this time for more than an hour. It’s back to Southern Beech forest, streams, waterfalls, and their corollary: mud. instead of dogging sharp spiny tussocks, we dodge bogs and mud patches. A successful day is one with dry feet, and for the most part, our acrobatics hopping from moss island to island over the bog succeed.