Day 62 – Merrivale Hut to Martins Hut

Merrivale Hut to Martins Hut – 28kms

Total – 1204kms

I hit the trail with heaps of energy this morning and keen to get through the last forest section. It was very muddy in places but mostly a really nice walk.

The first part of the day was a gradual climb up to the top of Bald Hill where there was a large transmission tower. There was a blanket of low cloud across the flats below. I walked the service road down to where the track departed to the right. The mud was pretty bad from here on. There was a steep climb up to “Little Baldy” and then along the main Longwood ridge. The ridge openned up to shrublands and I had a view of the south coast and across to Stewart Island. Another falcon made a few close fly overs while I was up there. I got the second swoop on camera this time.

I met a few hunters heading up the track today. Tomorrow is the first day of the deer roar so I have my high vis pack cover on until I am out of the Longwood. We all heard shooting throughout the day, some very close and then more in the evening.

It was so cool to see the ocean again. I could even smell it in the air. I’ve made it! I haven’t seen the ocean since I started at Ship Cove on the north coast. Now with Bluff only a few days away, the adventure is all but finished.

Martins Hut was built in 1905. I am camping outside the hut tonight. Jade (who turned up at Merrivale Hut last night after a mammoth 58km day) and another northbounder decided to camp also. Dave and Charlie turned up last so they are sleeping in the hut because there is no more room outside for tents. Everyone was filthy. Jade was covered in mud after falling backwards into a pool of it. He tried to ‘Tarzan swing’ around it and the tree branch broke mid swing. Charlie had been up to her thighs.

Tomorrow I will walk out of the bush and arrive in Colac Bay. No more roughing it. It will be all hot showers, flush toilets, clean clothes, bed linen, tap water and fresh food from there on!

Te Waewae Bay
Martins Hut

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