Porters Creek Hut to St Arnaud – 26kms
I set off first this morning knowing I had a big day ahead. Before I left we had a group photo outside the hut. I think we will catch up again down the line.
The first half of the was much like yesterday. More “undulating” hills and several river crossings. I was able to hop across on the rocks and boulders easily without getting my boots wet. At one crossing the track on the other side had gone due to a slip so I had to go upstream to find a way up the bank and then bushwack back to find the trail again. Just before Red Hills Hut I crossed a large swamp area. I had my gaiters on this time so wasn’t getting any water or mud in my boots.
A mountain biker arrived at the hut just before me. We talked as I filled my water bottles for the next section as there was no water sources along the way. He offered me a piece of banana cake which I happily accepted. From here out to the road is a joint mountain bike and hiking track. I saw a few other bikers on my way out. The hut had a poster offering a ten thousand dollar reward for sightings of an extremely rare and endangered bird believed to be in the area so I had my eyes out for that and camera ready too. The South Island Kokako. There were three long uphill slogs in the afternoon before I came out at a 4wd track near the top of Beebys Knob. I followed the track all the way down to Tophouse Road where dad and Janeen were waiting for me in their rental car. We sat for half an hour and caught up while I ate the fruit and cookie they brought and a nice cold Powerade. I had my boots off too to give my feet some air before finishing the last 8kms of road walking to St Arnaud. I jumped in the car at St Arnaud and we drove to Nelson. I am having two days off here to rest and resupply.