Preparations for South Island
Kenyon and I spent the day in Wellington preparing for the Queen Charlotte track. First up, we booked ourselves onto Saturdays 1:30pm ferry and then headed downtown to the iSite (New Zealand’s visitor information network – 90 i-SITEs nationwide) to enquire about Queen Charlotte accommodation. We discovered that there was plenty of accommodation to consider along the trail. We roughly calculated our hiking distances over three days (not including the hike from Anakiwa to Havelock) and decided to book ourselves into three of the places which would enable us to ditch the two-man tent and carry more delicious foods. Once all the booking was done, we thought it would be a good idea to top up the MasterCard in order to keep the bookings we had just made. So we headed straight over to the Library which has free WiFi and made the appropriate transfers.
After the library we did a quick delicious food shop at New World followed by a quick bite to eat at the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa). The Museum has a huge light box map of New Zealand which we walked across in seconds. It felt like we were giants and our traverse over both islands was over in just seconds. After all the research we had put into maps, food drop locations, accommodation, trail notes etc. – there we were just strolling over it all which really took all the complexity out of it.
We didn’t have much time to spend looking around and headed back to our base to do some more packing. Part of the preparation was familiarising ourselves with the GoPro camera Ken would be using to film parts of the South Island with. These cameras are incredibly fiddly – not something you really need while hiking but they are light and provide reasonable definition with optional fields of view and formats to switch between. Apart from being waterproof and HD, its lense features a 170 degree angle of capture which is fairly useful when filming on the move as the wide angle gives the appearance of minimising jolts and vibrations on playback which are otherwise picked up on standard lense cameras.
After a few hours of rummaging around our packs and flicking through manuals we became organised.
We were ready to attack the South Island!