Lake Ohau to Ahuriri River – 27kms
Total – 812kms
Dad dropped me off at Lake Ohau early this morning where I met up with Scott and Jane again for the next four days hiking through to Wanaka.
We walked a track up the true right of Freehold Creek through Beech forest to the top of the valley. It was a gradual up-hill walk. As we got higher the forest ended and openned up to tussock. It was beautiful up there with lots of waterfalls coming out from the mountains around us. We then climbed over a pass and descended down to the east branch of the Ahuriri River. We followed the river for another 15kms through tussock, swamp and at times siddling the bottom of scree banks. The weather was off and on, raining mostly and at times freezing cold. I was wearing my rain jacket and rain pants all day. We stopped for lunch next to the river when it looked it like it was starting to clear up. After about 10 minutes the clouds rolled into the valley again and the temperature plummeted. We got moving quickly again but my hands were so cold they went numb. It is amazing how quick temperatures change in these valleys.
The track emerged into the wider Ahuriri valley and then the river which we needed to cross. It is the largest unbridged river on the TA. We were not sure if it was going to be possible to cross as there had been lots of rain over night. Luckily, it wasn’t running too high and we linked up and crossed it easily. The deepest it got was up to my waist.
We set up camp on the other side of the river up against a bank that sheltered us from the wind. A good spot with easy access to water. Cups of tea and biscuits were had, dry clothes put on then dinner and bed.