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Reaching Island Bay

Thursday 2nd February 2012

The time had come for me to join Ken on another highlight of his traverse. Ken had reached Wellington and was about to complete the North Island at Island Bay – the southern point of North Island’s Te Araroa Trail.

After spending some quality time with the Phillips (friends of ours that were visiting NZ from Canada) who had kindly put him up for the night, Ken made his way out to the airport to welcome me into the land of the long to do list. Yes, . . . there was a lot to do! My flight from Sydney arrived in Wellington at 2pm. We didn’t waste any time and managed to hop straight back on to the same bus Ken had just caught out to the airport. What were the chances of that ever happening?

We had booked ourselves into a studio unit in Wellington, Quest On The Terrace, which we first stayed at in 2008 so it was nice heading back to familiarity. Since October last year we had made use of this familiar base of ours many times, sending various packages to it, hoping that they would all be there when the day came. Fortunately, all the packages were waiting for us. Unfortunately this meant there was a lot to do! So we quickly assessed the contents of each package and then prepared for the 10km hike down to Island Bay. When we left the apartment I couldn’t help but feel like I was cheating. So far Ken had hiked 1610km just to reach Wellington but I wasn’t going to let this spoil things for me. I was PUMPED for my 10km hike south. LETS DO THIS! I thought to myself as we both hiked down the road – full of energy.

We chatted about various things on the way down to Island Bay. It was mainly secret men’s business which we covered, and it sure was great to be sharing the occasion with Kenyon. I was finally there hiking the trail with him.

We rounded Island Bay looking for the rock with the plaque on it which marked the official end point of the island. We could sense that the rock was close but we were not quite sure of its exact location. As we were walking along the road I peered over a picket fence and saw what could have been the spot. We made our way into the park area and crossed over to the spot. Ken reached over to the rock and there it was – the accomplishment! Ken had completed the North Island and was just over half way through his traverse. For myself I felt privileged to witness the moment. I know Ken well and knowing him tells me that he really did traverse the North Island without a hitch – so to speak.

After a few photos to capture the moment the wind started to pick up. We headed back to the city and had dinner at Great India. It was so nice being out of the wind and cold. Everyone inside took note as we walked in with all our hiking gear on and then peeled our packs off before sitting down. The backpacks took up half the chairs around the table, jackets and fleeces were everywhere. Wellington was almost big enough for the two of us!

19 Comments Post a comment


    Monday 20 February, 2012
  2. Yeah! CONGRATULATIONS Ken! What an achievement! It’s good that they hurried up and got that rock and plaque ready for you just days ago. Makes a great shot!

    I wish you all the best for your tracks through the South Island! . . . Hike On!

    Monday 20 February, 2012
  3. Andrea #

    Congrats! Have fun on the South Island!!!

    Tuesday 21 February, 2012
    • Hi Andrea! Hope to see you soon somewhere on the South Island. Let’s track each other down!

      Thursday 23 February, 2012
  4. iluvpufflesSharon Sloane #

    To Kenyon’s friends and family. We had the pleasure of meeting Kenyon at Slaty Hut in the Richmond Ranges – Nelson area on Wednesday 15th February. We had spent the last two hours of our day in quite heavy rain and it was a welcome sight to come over the top of a ridge and see smoke from the chimney of the hut. Kenyon had holed up there for the day due to dubious weather. We spent a pleasant evening together and spent the next day together (mainly in cloud) for the technical section over a couple of peaks finishing with Mt Rintoul before the descent to Rintoul Hut. Friday saw Kenyon departing before us, as he wanted to make up some lost time and was moving on three huts, while we were moving on only two. We missed his charming company that day, but were delighted to receive the notes he had left at each hut ahead of us. Kenyon had a slower day on Saturday due to sore toes from so much down hill tramping and a bit of a bush bash. We had opted for a different route and would have joined up with Kenyon at Hunters Hut if Sharon had not been attacked by a Wasp Nest, receiving 20 stings in the process. We were helicoptered out early on Sunday morning (after camping out on the Hunter Ridge) with the regret that no doubt there were some more notes in huts for us. Kenyon arrived in St Arnaud at Lake Rotoiti later yesterday morning and has spent yesterday and today there. At this point we think his intention is to depart on his next leg tomorrow.
    We wish Kenyon all the best for his trip down the South Island and look forward to hearing of his progress.
    To Kenyon if you ever make it back to the Nelson area please look us up. You are more than welcome to use our place as a base for any new adventures. Take care.
    Sharon and Gordon Sloane

    Tuesday 21 February, 2012
    • Hi Sharon and Gordon,

      Sorry to hear of what happened to you Sharon. That must have been really terrible for both of you to find yourselves in such a life threatening situation. I’m glad you managed to get some help out of there.

      It’s great to hear that you met Ken on track. He spoke so highly of the two of you when I called him yesterday evening. I believe you both shouted Kenyon some drinks at the Alpine Lodge which Ken really appreciated a great deal. That was incredibly thoughtful of you. Sounds like you could have done with a few drinks yourselves!

      I hope you have recovered well.

      Tuesday 21 February, 2012
    • Hi Sharon and Gordon! Thanks for your well wishes and your kind invitation. When I’m next in Nelson I’ll contact you both but I’m sure I’ll be hearing about Gordon’s Te Araroa adventures before then. Sharon, I hope you have fully recovered from those nasty wasp stings. I only got stung once but it was more than enough. I couldn’t imagine getting stung as many times as you did.

      Thanks too for the complimentary drinks you both shouted me as I walked into St. Arnaud Alpine Lodge. I really appreciated your kindness and a couple of drinks is exactly what I felt like at that moment. I took time to reflect on the Pelorus River/ Richmond Alpine Range and hiking with you both that day was the hilight for me.

      I’ll be in touch with you both along the way.

      Kenyon 🙂

      Thursday 23 February, 2012
  5. Jas and Kel #

    Congratulations to Kenyon and wonderful news Gordon! We’re all thrilled for you guys to link up at this time. Yah!!

    Wednesday 22 February, 2012
    • Hi Jas, Kel and Cadence!

      Yes, Gordon and I had a real fun time ending the North Island and starting the South Island together. Really hoping you can make it along for some of the South Island Jas! Will be in touch from the next town.

      Bye for now,

      Thursday 23 February, 2012
  6. Graeme Woodward #

    Hi Kenyon,

    Sounds like a fabulous adventure. Let me know when you’re in the Canterbury region and I’ll come out and join you for a day or two. It would be great to catch up.

    Gordon has my contact info.



    Wednesday 22 February, 2012
    • Hi Graeme,

      Good to hear from you and will let you know when I’ll be in the Canterbury region. I’m leaving St. Arnaud today (23 Feb) so will be down there shortly. Start packing!

      I only have email when in towns so will check in when I get to Hanmer Springs in a little over a week from now.


      Thursday 23 February, 2012
  7. Wow Ken, what an achievement, you must be so thrilled. I am pleased to know Gordon is now with you, what a wonderful experience for you both. Please take care of one another. I enjoy checking in from time to time to see the Metford boys updates, keep them coming!

    All the very best for the rest of your trip.
    Hugs to you both

    Wednesday 22 February, 2012
    • Hi Sarah and Az!

      Great to hear from you and I hope all is well there in Newcastle. Sorry about the hurried departure last year. Things crept up on me faster than I though they would and before I knew it I was on the trail. I remember thinking of you on your wedding day when I was in my tent. Frustrated that I couldn’t wish you well and congratulate you both. I’ll be able to chat to you when I’m back home though. I’m looking forward to hearing all your news.
      Bye for now,

      Thursday 23 February, 2012
    • Hi Sarah! Great to see you here with us and that you’re finally taking some time out from the Chronicles.

      Yes, Ken’s traverse has been an incredible adventure for both of us. A lot of the time I’m behind the computer just sitting back, taking it easy with a nice cool drink, keeping an eye on things – making sure Kenyon arrives in certain places.

      As long as you keep checking in with us, we’ll keep updating!

      Hope you’re well!

      Thursday 23 February, 2012
  8. Uvana Searle #

    Hi Kenyon
    So glad to hear you have hit the South Island and still going strong. Shane and I are the crazy people you met in Palmerston North that dragged you to a BBQ in Himitangi. You regularly come up in conversations wondering how you are getting on. Keep it up buddy.
    Take care
    Vans & Shane 🙂

    Thursday 23 February, 2012
    • Hi Vans and Shane! Its really great to hear from you both. I haven’t had Internet for so long on the South Island so my reply is a bit late. I thought of you Shane as I hiked up the Deception River. It was much like climbing a waterfall for 9km and the reward at the top was a fantastic! . . . a refrigerated hut, AKA “Goat Pass Hut”. I hope you both enjoyed the Coast to Coast Challenge. Must be great to share that experience with such a close crew member as well as other good friends. When Gordon (my brother) and I finished the Queen Charlotte Track (8th Feb) we saw a convoy of cars with kayaks on top passing through Linkwater. I mentioned to him that the two of you were on your way there too. One of those cars could have been you? I hope it all went to plan.

      I really enjoyed that BBQ evening with you! From the Tararuas I could see Himitangi and thought how fortunate I was to be spontaneously invited to such a beautiful area. Will call you soon to find out how the challenge went.

      Bye for now, Kenyon

      Thursday 29 March, 2012
  9. Gordon Sloane #

    Hi Kenyon.
    Just letting you know I finished the Waiau Pass section on Thursday. Spent Sunday at Blue Lake Hut due to snow, wind and cloud over the pass. Got over on Monday in perfect weather. I loved this section. Did the pass with three other through trampers, and camped at Caroline Bivvy with two of them. Stayed at Anne and Magdalen Huts for the last two nights.
    I hope Harper Pass and Goat Pass went well for you. I am guessing that you will be at the Bealey some time in the next day or two. Wishing you well for your next leg. Enjoy the “Hamilton Hilton”. It was a superb hut when Sharon and I were there about 15 years ago.
    Take care.

    Sunday 11 March, 2012
    • Hi Gordon!

      You’re blitzing your way through Te Araroa. You might be at Bluff before me! Well done on getting over Waiau and glad you had a lucky break, amongst bad weather, for it. You were brave to stay at Caroline Bivvy! I ventured into the Bivvy with my pack on and then found that I couldn’t get out. It was quite funny at the time. 🙂 I could easily have stayed at Hamilton Hilton Hut for another night. I think it’s the nicest hut on trail so far. Harper Pass was very enjoyable. I hope you and the family have good weather for when you tackle it soon with the family. I’d like to hear how you all went.

      This message is sent to you from Twizel.

      Cheers, Kenyon

      Thursday 29 March, 2012

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