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Day 132-134

Day 132: Highland Creek hut to Roses hut

The trail today wasn’t easy or maybe it was some fatigue from the long day yesterday. In any case there were two very long climbs and descents over 11km and by the time we got to Roses hut, I was beat. We had originally thought about going further and camping but there was a third climb and descent to contend with if we did that and I just couldn’t muster the energy to do it. Thankfully the views were beautiful and the weather nice and sunny but not too hot so we got to enjoy the views. The hut gradually filled up in the evening so we’ll be 8. It’s nice to see a few faces that I haven’t seen since the North Island.

View back to Lake Wanaka
Walking along a ridgeline
View down to Roses hut
Reading time at Roses hut

Day 133: Roses hut to Arrowtown

After an exciting start to the day with a beautiful sunrise and then a helicopter coming for one of the hikers who’d sprained an ankle yesterday, it was off up the track over Roses saddle.

Sunrise from Roses hut

I felt good going up and despite it being overcast, the views were still epic.

Epic views

The climb down to the Arrow River also went well and didn’t seem as steep as other descents in this section.

Heading down to the Arrow River

At the river, we had the choice of the taking the river or a track alongside the river. The river seemed to be the recommended route unless it’s flooded but since it wasn’t, we chose the river. The track literally was the river although we were sometimes able to walk along the bank. I should probably be say hobble, not walk, as after a few minutes in the icy water, neither of us could feel our feet any longer. We finally reached Macetown, an abandoned mining town from the gold rush era and were able to leave the river for a while and warm up our feet. There isn’t much left of Macetown and the one intact building had a gate inside the door preventing one from going in.


We saw a few people who’d driven up the 4wd road from Arrowtown to check out the site and who offered to give us a lift if they saw us on their way back. We had lunch and then started off along the 4wd road. As we approached the first river crossing and were getting psyched up for cold feet again, we heard a car coming and didn’t hesitate when they offered to take us to Arrowtown. The 15km drive took at least an hour and was very bumpy even in the 4wd car. At one point the car was so tilted to the side that I thought the wheels might lift off the ground like they do in the movies. We did eventually make it to Arrowtown, which looks like a Western boom town and was quite busy with tourists, even a few who were panning for gold in the river (apparently you can still find some flakes of gold if you’re lucky).

Arrowtown main street

We set up at the Holiday Park and then did some planning for the next section over ice cream (me) and hot chocolate (Cécile). Later, we also went out for dinner and I had fish of the day with roast potatoes and veggies. The veggies even had bok choy and made me realise how much I miss fresh veggies. It was delicious.

Day 134: Arrowtown to Glenorchy

After having a breakfast bap and flat white, it was off to the bus to Frankton, where we did our resupply. The New World didn’t have a good bulk section so I ended up with some fresh veggies, taco seasoning, a packet of dehydrated beef from a sports store and some rice from the bulk food store to make up some dinner of sorts. I also got some trail mix and cereal at the bulk food store. Lunches will be smoked salmon wraps with cream cheese, so not very zero waste friendly unfortunately. We continued into Queenstown from Frankton. I stopped for an ice cream at Patagonia chocolates and it was so big that it ended up being my lunch. Queenstown was congested with traffic from construction and there were so many tourists everywhere. It didn’t really appeal that much. In any case, we had already planned to head straight to Glenorchy so we got our thumbs out and quickly were on our way there. The road between Queenstown and Glenorchy follows the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu and is very scenic, as is Glenorchy itself with lots of mountains in the backdrop. I walked down to the lake and spent the afternoon doing chores and then reading. Caroline and Elsa are sharing the dorm room with me and Cecile so it’s 4/4 being french speakers.

View of Lake Wakatipu and mountains from Glenorchy

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