I prepared for the days exertion by getting up at 6 am once again to watch another sunrise. Mostly a bright orange band on the horizon but was entirely vibrant. Again a cloudless sky for the day, and for once, windless.

The tide was right in as I sipped some coffee early on.

I seemed to spend excessive time walking up and down the beach in my bare feet, not without effort and pain with the very coarse granite sand underfoot. The sea was quite cool but felt super refreshing.

A trip to the hut and that was the morning gone. Time for lunch before saddling up.

Again plenty of DOC activity for the day with a speedboat depositing half a dozen crew for what turned out to be something to do with the wilding pines. Seemed like a mop-up of the young trees.

Not quite the most strenuous day’s effort. Like the previous three. Various offerings of the time expected to be taken were dependent on what signage should be believed. For the record, I spent around two hours climbing up to the saddle, then meandering down to Tonga Quarry.

Lots of birds at the saddle finally. Rather dense vocalisations, and that was a definitive change.

12 other trampers were seen on the track, with only one heading my direction and overtaking me. He carried an opposite philosophy to me, zooming through as quickly as possible. Anchorage to Awaroa, despite the lack of light later in the day.

The lunchtime low tide at Torrent Bay was okay today, but will be frustrating for him tomorrow at Awaroa, when it occurs an hour later. The Awaroa Inlet is only crossable 1.5 hours before, and 2.5 hours after the low tide. Perfectly timed for my dawdling.

Once again I had the full campground to myself, other than the usual nosy wekas.

A few clouds, and it might be somewhat showery until the heavy all-day rain in a few days. As long as I make Awapoto Hut on Monday I’ll be right in terms of food, but I suppose I should head up there on Saturday, and have any wet days while I’m resident in a hut rather than my tent.

Options to ponder.

The Tonga Quarry campsite I occupied on my previous camping trip along the Coastal Track has been entirely washed away, with the raised land area about 6 or 8 m diminished. DOC no longer permits camping there, but in any case, it would be awkward to find a site that didn’t encroach on the old quarry site.

Onetahuti campsite has also lost a fair amount of each sand dune, maybe also 5 m, and the campsite now has 500 mm depth of loose sand deposited over the previously grassy areas.

I found a better campsite up under the mahoe and tree ferns that was reasonably sheltered, and it came accompanied with the usual quota of pesky wekas. One persisted, despite my efforts at dissuasion and I had to relent and admire such determination.

These are the issues that amused a solitary winter camper.

← Day 3 | Bark Bay campsite Day 5 | Waiharikiki campsite →