Te Araroa

The Queen Charlotte Track

The Te Araroa hike is going to an end. You can read in this post how we did on the last days.

22.4 How a day off turns out to be the starting day of the last section

Pip dropped us of at the highway from where we got a lift to Nelson easily.

This is how Nelson welcomed us: sun, palmtrees and the air of the sea

We decided quite spontaneously to continue the TA today because the forecast couldn’t be better. It was already late afternoon and we still needed to book the ferry and get some groceries for the upcoming section. Because the trail comes to an end, we really wanted to enjoy the last section. So this time we had a big goal: Walk as slow as we can, eat as much as we can. We wanted to have chocolate on the very last day!

Putting the groceries in the backpacks

We have been really lucky with hitchhiking. With two different rides we got to the start of the Queen Charlotte Track (QCT). When we started the trail it was already dark. But I would rate the track condition as a great walk, so it was easy to find the trail even without headlamps. We’ve been rewarded not to put the headlamps on, because we saw a lot of glowworms. After walking for half an hour we reached the campsite

The campsite on the next morning

23.04 One of the shortest day on the trail

We sat on every bench we came across. We didn’t do a lot of kilometers, but because the next campsite was just 12km away. There was no need to walk further.

Mistletoe Bay campground

24.04 Black Rock Campsite

We left Mistletoe Bay at noon. Today we had to walk nearly as twice as much as yesterday. Again we did a lot of breaks.

Laying in the sun and doing nothing

Even though it was forbidden we just camped in the shelter. So we had a really nice view to Picton.

Nearly as good as sleeping in a backcountry hut
Picton at night with the Interislander ferry

We had some different visitors that night. We had a possum in the shelter and a mouse climbing the handle of a broom.

A possum in the shelter
A mouse climbing the broom
The mouse wasn’t really coutious

25.4 A “real” hiking day

One could easily walk the first three days in a single day. It was time to hike some kilometers. Today we walked to Camp Bay campsite. Another day in paradise is waiting for us.

Beautiful views over the Queen Charlotte sound
It is incredible! tomorrow we’ll be on the other side. From there, it is only a few Kilometers to Ship Cove

26.4 The end of our hike was never that close

Today we were going to the Schoolhouse Bay campground. We started late and we arrived late. We did a lot of breaks and we met Caro and Remy. They were walking the trail the other way around (again). It was a long day and we arrived in the dark. From this campground it is only about one hour to the very end!!

That’s how the trail looked like the whole time. No crawling around fallen trees, no river crossings

27.4 The End!

Two and a half month of walking. We imagined this day so often. We thought about it. And now it is really happening. We booked the ferry to Picton at 10am, so we started at 8am. About an hour later, we were at Ship Cove!

We made it! Captain Cooks monument in Ship Cove.
Back to civilization. This time with a boat

A new chapter of our journey starts. We just don’t know which chapter, but we are pretty sure it won’t involve hiking (at least not that much in the first days).