For some reason, I mucked around in the morning, after all, it’s only over to the North Arm Hut so I had my two cups of coffee, as usual, except not while packing up.

Instead, I wasted an hour reading most of the first part in a book of short stories. Jack London had written the second I realised too late, a lot of intrigue about not a lot, sunken boats, false insurance claims. If it was written these days you would never get away with it so straightforward, the bad guys get their deserves, and the good guy meets his true love. Instead, it would have one twist after another with nothing as it seems initially. The 1960s were so much simpler and full of hope.

Actually, there was drizzle, pretty much my only real day of showers on and off all day, only stopping once I’d reached the hut.

Many on the North West Circuit skip this hut, by the time Freshwater is reached rations are low and it’s Destination Imperative, gotta get to the pub, the South Seas Hotel.

Being more the procrastinator when it comes to completing these expeditions I’ve dreamt up a detour for tomorrow, over the sector of the Rakiura Track I haven’t ever seen. Back to the scene of Night 1: Port William, and then, the next day, a Sunday, hiking, finally, back to Oban to catch the 2 30 pm ferry, no reasonable accommodation in Oban in the winter months, and only three afternoon ferries a week. Gotta get the timing right or you are up for a $60 single bed, admittedly a long shower at the pub, then, no doubt, in for a big feed, and suddenly you are down $100. And another $94 to get back to Invercargill.

That’s all in the future. I do have a general plan to work to, today it’s North Arm, which, I find, is 6-7 hours away according to the sign.


That seems excessive. There is just a hill to get over and then just around the inlet above the water.

Some people I have talked to revealed that they considered that Bungaree to Christmas Village was the hardest of the sectors, not necessarily physically. There are much bigger days but just the relentless up and down of the track, the roots, the slopes, and the realisation that, yes, this is what it is going to be like for the next seven days of effort, ie, a whole bag of hard work.

I get the impression that those venturing the other direction get a similar feeling about this sector, but here it’s a bigger climb, again considerable root work, slippery slopes, and a whole hill of boggy stuff despite that slope.

Welcome to Rakiura.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: North Arm Hut

North Arm Hut, Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island
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