22km, 10 hours, ~2000m climbed

Today is a tough day with three saddles, each about 1200m in elevation with troughs at 600m. That’s a total of 1800m of up not counting the little hills. For a 2000m climb, I’d rather be on top of a big mountain. I blame Shania.

It’s a bit odd to blame your hiking woes on a Canadian country singer, but she owns all this land and put in these trails. And there’s a perfectly good, flat, private road that she owns that no one is using while the trail she allows is up and down, up and down.

Here are all the (literal) high points of the trail with Rebecca on each:

The highlight of the day is at the end. We arrive in Macetown (pop. 0). It’s a ghost town! At one time after the 1860’s gold rush there were 100-200 people living here. Today, just a few crumbled stone walls, and two very well restored stone buildings.

It’s funny to see how quickly civilization reverts to nature. It’s dry here, and there are almost no native trees left. Yet, what remains of the town is a beautiful, thick European forest, full of maple, oak, poplar and willow. These survive, self-seed, and spread.

Our first hint of civilization was before the trees however. Up river, we spot (and taste) mint. Likely planted in someone’s herb garden 100 years ago, it’s now a weed and the first indication of a town long since passed.

We spend a lovely evening inside one of these old stone buildings. Or outside of it, if you work for DOC and camping inside is illegal. We were definitely outside. Probably. There weren’t any no camping signs or locked doors you know…



Day 100 & 101 – Macetown to Arrowtown

Day 98 – Glendhu Bay to Highland Creek Hut