Getting moving this morning was difficult as it was absolutely freezing. Nevertheless, I could see the sun coming up over the mountains and knew it would turn into a warm day.
Initially, I planned to walk only 12 km to Taipo Hut, but when I got there I was informed that a party of six guys was on their way for a boys’ weekend, and they were loud. Michael, a fellow kiwi northbounder, had stayed with them in the hut before me. I decided that I would push on instead to Greenstone Hut with Quentin and Michael, and it was the first time on the trail that I tramped with other people. We got a bit lost, but made an adventure out of it, and it was a fun afternoon!
The track today continued through a mountainous valley, with the snow on the mountain tops gradually disappearing throughout the day. The last hour delved into some beech forest again, and emerged in a giant clearing at the Greenstone Hut, the first serviced hut we northbounders have encountered. It’s the first hut on the popular Greenstone-Caples track, about three hours from the highway around Lake Wakatipu. I’m a day ahead now, with my shuttle around the lake to Queenstown booked for Saturday morning, which means a day off to laze around in the sun and maybe check out some of the Caples Track.