Birchwood Hut to Merivale Hut

17 Mar. Despite the forecast, there was little rain overnight, but the temperature was near frost levels. Svenja and Daisy had decided to take a rest day and avoid the rain. Richard and I were off at 08:40. After about 3km of road walking, the track took us across farmland to climb the Twinlaw hill we had seen for the last couple of days. It was about a 400m steep climb and the rain started in earnest. Once on the track followed service tracks through pine forest. The pine gave way to beech in the Woodlaw Conservation Area and finally the rain stopped about 13:00 just in time for a late lunch. A 30 min stop was enough as we were both wet and cold. John passed us as we lunched.

Continuing the descent we reached a 3 km section of gravel road before a short climb into Island Bush forest, around the hill and out onto the Outautau Tuatapere Road. The Merivale Hut is another private hut on farm property, but no power or hot shower. It has only 5 bunks and was already full, so Richard and I set up our tents.

At the hut, Grant and Al from Kerikeri have been doing the trail by sections over many years. Richard and Al had briefly met before. Another coincidence was that Grant had lived in Woodbridge, UK, about 5 years after I went to school there. Also in the hut were Anouk from a Netherlands, Jean and Anne-Marie, who I had last seen in Bush Stream. Frank and Maria were also camping.

Today we covered 30km in 8 hours with about 600m of climb. Good track surfaces helped with speed. Dinner was mash, mixed veg and tuna again, using up spare rations. Fresh farm eggs were available, so I hard boiled 4 for the next couple of days.

Renovation job?
Road before the climb
Climb and rain ahead
Looking back to where we had come from yesterday
Wetter as we climb
Wet
Rain free lunch
Still cold
Island Bush forest
Fortunately not too many km of this
Walkers must be good spectator sport for cows
Merivale Hut

4 thoughts on “Birchwood Hut to Merivale Hut

  1. Kylie

    Loving hearing about all these people you are meeting along the way

    Like

  2. Jessica Syms

    The weather and the countryside in these pictures looks similar to what you’d find in the UK.

    Like

  3. I see you on the map – basically home+hosed. Well done!

    Like

    1. Need a hose to wash off Southland mud!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: