6 Mar. With an easy riverside walk today into Wanaka, there was no rush, so I caught up with family over WhatsApp and the hotel WiFi. After checking out, back to Sailz for a full breakfast. I started walking at 10:45.
This section today fills in the gap created in my Garmin track when I jumped ahead last week to do the Wanaka -Queenstown section. Tomorrow I will get the bus from Wanaka to Queenstown to be back on the through-hiking schedule.
The route follows the Hawea River Track, and from the people passing me, it’s more popular with cyclists than walkers. The White Water Park is popular with surfers and kayakers who were doing their stuff. Just over the suspension bridge and about 10 trail km short of Wanaka is Albert Town. The Pembroke Patisserie there had been recommended by several people, and justifiably so. Excellent lunch stop from 13:45 to 15:10. After that, the route followed the Clutha River to its source in Lake Wanaka and then around the lake edge into town. I arrived about 17:30.
A hard day for the feet with 25km in 7 hours on a flat gravel track for most of the way.
Tim (and Di who I was walking with a week ago while they mountain biked) messaged me yesterday. He had been checking my progress on the map and offered overnight accommodation in Wanaka where they live. Both were working away from home, but Tim told me where the key was and I let myself in for a shower. Tim returned home later and we had a wholesome dinner at Big Fig in town. Another night in a comfortable bed; better not get used to it yet.