New Zealand 2003 travel blog

Mussels in Mutton Cove

Mutton Cove beach

Anapai Bay

Rocks in Anapai Bay

Awaroa Bay - waiting to cross

Awaroa Hut

Walking to Awaroa Lodge

Walking back to the Hut

Sunset over Awaroa Bay (1)

Sunset over Awaroa Bay (2)

Walking in your footsteps

Bleary-eyed from our broken sleep, we staggered from the hut with our packs into the grey misty morning. We had a fair few hours walking to do today so the cooler weather was welcome.

We made good progress past Separation Point and along Mutton Cove beach, where we could begin to appreciate the geology of the area - largely granite which provides the material for the lovely sandy beaches, but with some Karst (limestone) formations here and there. The vegetation, however, was not very different to that which we had seen along the Queen Charlotte Walkway last week.

We got to Totaranui at lunchtime, resting beneath the eaves of the Visitor Centre before pushing on. There was a huge campsite here which is very popular, largely because it is the only one that is accessible by road in the whole park. After another hour and a half of crossing beaches and passing through woodland, we came to the big obstacle of the day - Awaroa Bay. This large estuary can only be crossed at low tide, when the water recedes far enough to paddle across barefoot to the other side. We had timed it well as we only had to wait half an hour before it was safe to cross. Nevertheless, our Canadian friends had already gone head and were walking waist deep in the 1km crossing. We too decided to wade through the cold water, and soon the large group of other trampers who had gathered on the northern side were soon following.

Once on the other side, we found the Hut by the bay and plonked our stuff on the bunks then took a walk along the edge of the Bay. It was late afternoon now, so we strolled down to the privately owned Awaroa Bay resort, which had literally re-opened today after a major refurbishment. Because of that, there were the usual array of teething troubles, including broken tills and flustered staff. Anyway, it was a welcome oasis deep within the national park.

We wandered back, just in time before the tide rolled back in. It was a lovely evening though, so we took our time walking along the sand flats and watching the oystercatchers hard at work.

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