After 11 hours horizontal I sprang up after listening to the 6 am news on my little radio, as per my standard ritual.

Wow, there was one last porridge, and even the last of the coffee.

This was originally planned as a three night tramp, but I eked out my food to last until the morning of Day 6.

The food disappeared quickly, concurrently with me re-applying my damp clothes to my body. Brrr!!

Then I packed up as quickly as ever in memory. Helps when you have a whole lot of nothing in the way of food in your pack.

Just light as I took off back to civilisation.

Plenty of tree roots to negotiate. Also managed to cross the river twice without getting my feet wet. These are the little things that make your day.

More gentle plodding, nursing my sore big toe.

As the morning progressed the birds became more numerous, including at one point, some, well, more than one kaka.

A few possum traps, two with poor possums hanging.

This area, like most of the South Island has had the original vegetation devastated by introduced pests: rats, stoats, and possums being the major offenders in the forest. The possums rip up the new shoots of the trees, and also kill young birds, or eat eggs. Being close to St Arnaud and in the national park volunteers have monitored thousands of traps that have relatively easy access. Down by Lake Rotoiti 6000 traps in 6000 hectares have all but eliminated pests over the last 20 years. The vegetation is making a big comeback and now undergrowth is difficult to penetrate in the long-term trapping zone. Birds are prolific. Kiwi have been reintroduced to the area. It’s a huge success story.

It was a slow realisation this trip was just about complete.

The snow? Well, you can have sufficient of a good thing.

That aspect all seemed hard work.

← Day 5 | Speargrass Hut