- Round The World Trip Destination Wish #3: Great Walks in New Zealand
- Milford Track Booked For April 2015
- New Zealand, On The Road Again After a 2 Month Break
- 8 New Zealand Great Walks in 8 Weeks
- Preparing for The Great Walks and Waiting Out Cyclone Pam
- Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Day 1: Onepoto to Panekire Hut
- Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Day 2: Panekire Hut to Waiopaoa Hut
- Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Day 3: Waiopaoa Hut to Marauiti Hut
- Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Day 4: Marauiti Hut to Hopuruahine Landing
- Wairoa and Taupo, In Between Great Walks
- Tongariro Northern Circuit Day 1: Mangatepopo Hut to Oturere Hut
- Tongariro Northern Circuit Day 2: Oturere Hut to Waihohonu Hut
- Tongariro Northern Circuit Day 3: Waihohonu Hut to Whakapapa Village
- Wellington, Christchurch, Mount Cook, and Queenstown, In Between Great Walks
- Routeburn Track Day 1: Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls Hut
- Routeburn Track Day 2: Routeburn Falls Hut to Lake Mackenzie Hut
- Routeburn Track Day 3: Lake Mackenzie Hut to The Divide
- Milford Track Day 1: Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut
- Milford Track Day 2: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut
- Milford Track Day 3: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut
- Milford Track Day 4: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point
- Te Anau, In Between Great Walks
- Rakiura Track Day 1: Oban to Port William Hut
- Rakiura Track Day 2: Port William Hut to North Arm Hut
- Rakiura Track Day 3: North Arm Hut to Oban
- Stewart Island, In Between Great Walks
- Kepler Track Day 1: Te Anau to Luxmore Hut
- Kepler Track Day 2: Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut
- Kepler Track Day 3: Iris Burn Hut to Moturau Hut
- Kepler Track Day 4: Moturau Hut to Te Anau
- A Return to Milford Sound
- Coastal Pacific Train, Hitchking, And Nelson, In Between Great Walks
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 1: Marahau to Anchorage
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 2: Anchorage to Bark Bay
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 3: Bark Bay to Awaroa
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 4: Awaroa to Whariwharangi
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 5: Whariwharangi to Totaranui via Gibbs Hill Track
- Heaphy Track Day 1: Brown Hut to Perry Saddle Hut
- Heaphy Track Day 2: Perry Saddle Hut to James Mackay Hut
- Heaphy Track Day 3: James Mackay Hut to Heaphy Hut
- Heaphy Track Day 4: Heaphy Hut to Kohaihai
- Riding The Tranzalpine Train in New Zealand
- In Review: 69 Days of Backpacking in New Zealand
Previous entry: Day 3 – James Mackay Hut to Heaphy Hut
Part of the New Zealand Great Walks Journal
Journal entry for May 11, 2015
Distance hiked: 16.2 km
I was the first one out of bed at 7am, and was able to enjoy an amazing sunrise. This is truly a great spot for a hut. There were lots of weka birds around the area, and you could hear them go off on shouting matches throughout the night.
Just like the previous day, it rained around 8am but cleared up afterwards, just in time to hit the trail.
I hiked the entire last day with the Callum, Timo, and Mervin. This was supposedly the most beautiful section of the Heaphy Track, and I would have to agree with that. You alternate between forests, beaches, and very long bridges. A really fun day.
Out of habit, I usually hike with very short socks, but given the large amounts of sand flies in the area, I wore long socks this day. This helped to fend them away. As long as there’s no exposed skin, they won’t bite, even if the socks are thin.
I had to wait until my last day of hiking in NZ to see one of its rare birds. I never encountered the famous and elusive kiwi, but while crossing a bridge on this day, I spotted a blue duck in the distance. With under 3,000 of them left (all in NZ), they are harder to find than kiwis (around 70,000 left). The one I saw was far away, and I couldn’t take any decent pictures of it.
Crayfish Point is an area that cannot be crossed 2 hours either side of high tide, which for this day was 3:30pm. We had plenty of time to go through that section before 1:30pm.
We reached the end of the trail at the mouth of the Kohaihai River after 4.5 hours, with short breaks in between.
We were very lucky that we got very nice weather. Out of the four days on the Heaphy Track I only had to hike about three hours in light drizzle. Reading the forecast before the start, I thought I would have four miserable days of wet weather hiking. Looking back, I was extremely fortunate with weather throughout my entire time in New Zealand. Of the thirty days I spent on the trial, it only really rained for two days: Day 2 on the Routeburn Track, and Day 4 on the Milford Track.
I had just finished 8 Great Walks in 8 weeks. About 400 km or 250 miles. I was very happy that everything went according to plan, despite injuring my knee on the first Great Walk. I would later find out that I did all these treks with a torn ACL and meniscus.
The walks had exceeded my very high expectations, and New Zealand became the most beautiful country I had visited in my life. The great landscapes are almost too much to take in and digest in such a short time.
My ratings for the Heaphy Track:
Scenery: 7 – Unremarkable the first 2 days. Very beautiful and unique the last 2 days.
Difficulty: 3.5 – Despite elevation changes, it feels pretty flat the entire way.
Trail Condition: 9 – Another excellent Great Walk track. Fit for mountain biking, so pretty easy to do it on foot.
NZ Department of Conservation’s brochure and video for this walk.
Part of the New Zealand Great Walks Journal