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Wanaka to Queenstown

Remaining Distance: 405.19km
Distance Covered: 2894.81km
Total Traverse Hiking Days: 130

Graeme and I enjoyed the hike through the Motatapu Valley from Wanaka to Queenstown and our knees knew all about it afterwards. What a workout! This section of hike took four days.

We hiked alongside Lake Wanaka for 15km before arriving at Glendhu Bay camp ground where we stopped for lunch. What a beautiful area! I think we both would like to have stayed on for longer but we needed to make it to Fern Burn Hut which was still another few hours away. We would have bought lunch here but the small store only sold snacks. Graeme bought us each an ice cream before we set off again. We arrived at Fern Burn Hut just before dark and Graeme got straight on with cooking us dinner. I really enjoyed having the night off from the pots and pans. Thanks Graeme!

Steep up, steep down and hardly a level bit of track to be seen. This second day was a long one and at the end of it we staggered into Roses Hut. Actually before we staggered into the hut we collapsed on the wooden decking just outside the hut door. After picking myself up I served us both Backcountry Cuisine for dinner. Nice ‘n easy. No thinking required. Delicious! We enjoyed each of the three huts we passed on this track. They were all built within the last few years so it was great to have a break from the rodent population that inhabit the older huts. It was a luxury not having to safeguard the food before going to bed each night.

From Roses Hut it was up and over Roses Saddle and from there we could see right down the river we were to cross many times. Before reaching Macetown we took a long lunch break where there was a deep pool of clear water within the stream we had been walking down. Graeme took a refreshing swim there while I dug straight into lunch.

The trees at Macetown had their incredible autumn colours showing. This would have been a great spot to camp but it was still early in the day so we pushed onto Arrowtown where we checked into the New Orleans Hotel. From Arrowtown it was a leisurely hike onto Queenstown with water views along the Frankton Track.

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Frith Metford #

    Fantastic photography and blogging Ken, and Graeme you sound like you were a great hiking companion and sport along the way! Thanks for sharing the amazing scenery and steep inclines!

    Wednesday 18 April, 2012
    • Hi Frith,

      Yes, Graeme was really great company and I think we are both enjoying a break from those inclines! Glad you are enjoying the photos and posts. With the scenery that NZ offers one can’t go wrong with the photos. No skill required there. As for the blogging… New Zealand ranks No.1 in the world as the slowest internet so the photos and blog posts come to you with great effort.

      We have enjoyed our time here in Queenstown although it has been a busy stay. Once we have reached Bluff we will return to Queenstown where, for a few days, we’ll just relax to the max. With only two weeks of hiking left – the end of this amazing trail is unfortunately just around the corner.

      Chat soon.

      Friday 20 April, 2012
  2. wrongwayround09 #

    Thanks Kenyon. A nice account of our saunter along the Motatapu trail. I have fond memories already (and the remnants of a few blisters to boot).

    Wednesday 18 April, 2012
    • Hi Graeme,

      🙂 yes! The Te Araroa trail experience is not complete without a few blisters. I bet your knees are enjoying the rest after those hills and ridges. I enjoyed looking through the photos we took and as usual the hills look steeper when they are just about to be hiked! I’m really glad we could share this section together. What great timing!

      Friday 20 April, 2012
  3. Pammy #

    Keno, the photo with the clouds over Treblecone is absolutely beautiful – would love to have been there.

    Any time you have a night to spare, Graeme, you’re welcome to make use of the pots and pans in our kitchen at home!

    We’re putting in an order for some of that delicious Backcountry Cuisine served by you, Ken, at some future date!

    Pammy and O’l Blue Eyes

    Wednesday 18 April, 2012
    • Yeah, those boots hanging on the fence reminded me of Dad’s lace up ski boots back in the days of Christy stops. 🙂

      I’m sure you would enjoy the Backcountry food. A few people have told me they don’t like the taste of it but I think they are just having me on. After trying the full range more than a few times over, I’ve narrowed it down to three favorites – Morrocan Lamb, Beef Terriyaki and Roast Lamb and Vegetables. DO NOT fall for the THAI CHICKEN CURRY! Someone slipped up while putting in the spices and it will sure set your mouth on fire.

      Saturday 21 April, 2012
  4. I’ve been following your trek, it’s amazing, I feel privileged to have seen you and Gordon off at the beginning.
    Are you on the 2nd or 3rd set of boots? It wouldn’t surprise me if was more! My feet ache just thinking about your adventure.
    Wishing you all the best your friend Leslie in Ahipara

    Wednesday 18 April, 2012
    • Hi there Leslie!

      Great to see you online. It seems forever ago that we were emailing you about the plan we had with our 4WD. For now my eleventh pair of boots seems to be holding up well. They’ll see me through to the end – I’m sure of it. I think the first pair got a real workout on Ninety Mile Beach with all that plankton about at low tide! The best part of those rainy days back in October, was returning to your beautiful “Bellovista” on the beach front. I don’t suppose you’ll be leaving there in a hurry. Now just before I forget, I’m really only on my second pair of boots. 🙂 The number eleven just seemed an impressive number to grab your attention.

      Please stay with us to the end!

      Your friends, Kenyon and Gordon

      Friday 20 April, 2012
  5. tina #

    WOW, what amazing photo’s and what an incredible journey you are having! look forward to catching up (check your facebook for dates) xo

    Wednesday 18 April, 2012
    • Jambo Tina!

      Definitely looking forward to catching up with the gang. I finally got a chance to log into FB and the date you had there works with me. Thanks for bringing us all together! I want to hear more about your trip to Kili.

      Be chatting soon.

      Saturday 21 April, 2012
  6. John Phillips #

    We are glad that you have time to tell us a little about your hike along the Motatapu trail and along Wanaka Lake. I am sorry you did not have time to see Laura and Mark – they would have given you lunch rather than the snacks at the restaurant! Thanks for the photos too. They really help to show the terrain you are traversing. Hope the next stretch is a bit easier. We are all rooting for you here in Canada as you do this last stage. Little Tess is taking her first steps! We will get her hiking soon.

    Thursday 19 April, 2012
    • Hi John,

      You would be thrilled with Tess’s progress. She’s right on track with many more steps ahead of her. I’m sure she will enjoy the outdoors just like her parents.

      We still plan to meet up with Mark and Laura on our way up to Christchurch. Thanks very much for their contact details.

      Hoping you are all well there in Vancouver.

      Saturday 21 April, 2012
  7. Andrea #

    What a beautiful section! The pictures are gorgeous and make me want to try that section some day! Thanks for sharing.

    Thursday 19 April, 2012
    • Glendhu Bay and Macetown would have been great places to camp so perhaps factor that in if you decide to hike through there. The huts are also quite new and are to the same standard as Ketetahi Hut where we stayed in January.

      Saturday 21 April, 2012
  8. Jill #

    Another great posting with beautiful and witty photo’s. I can’t imagine an hour doing those steep inclines, let alone day after day.
    It must be a great help to have a good companion to walk with.
    Hope your feet are coping well. You will be able to write a book on do’s and don’ts of footcare and footwear for hiking at the end of these travels, as well as a guidebook to walkers of this NZ trail.
    Best wishes

    Thursday 19 April, 2012
    • Yes, it really was great to have Graeme’s company from Wanaka to Queenstown. We knew each other from Sydney about ten years ago and it was a complete surprise to find out from a mutaul friend that Graeme was now living in Christchurch.

      That’s not a bad idea. I did get a few tips from other blog sites which helped out immensly. I’ll be putting some tips together and if they help just one peson out then it’ll be time well spent.

      Say hello to the rest of your family for me. Bye for now, Kenyon

      Saturday 21 April, 2012

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