North Island Day 56, 28/10/17 ~ 北島第56日・2017年10月28日

At Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre that I stayed last night, all staff went out for a function and did not come back till late at night.  Only had a few minutes talk with a staff lady called Lisa yesterday.  Was not sure if all TA walkers could stay here free of charge, or I was the lucky one!?  

Started at 6:30.  Walked on the road for 4km to get to the entrance of Tararua Mountains Track.  Was looking forward to walking this section as much as Tongariro Cuircuit and Wanganui Journey, because Tararua ranges is the origin of NZ tramping culture.  This area was infamous of a combination of bad weather with gust, rain, fog, etc., as it is situated north of Wellington, city of wind.  Luckily it was fine with no wind today.  Climbed 4 hours along the ridge line towards Mt Waioeohu.  Above the forest line, there was a hut and a magnificent view to look around the region from 1,000m from the sea level.  Had lunch there and walked up and down the ridge line to next hut. 

After the Twin Peaks, the track was in a really terrible condition - fallen trees, landslips, bogs, awful things everywhere.  It took me 90 minutes to walk 2km.  According to the DOC sign, average walk time of this section was 3 hours!  It means this ruin did not happen during the winter, and is USUAL.  Why don't they look after the track properly?!  Struggled with the ridiculous track condition, and started to worry about how long this would last... 

As soon as passing the Richards Knob, track became a lot better suddenly and walked comfortably through the mossy mountain beech forest with far less bogs down to Te Matawai hut.  This made me questioned why the 2km section was that bad.  Arrived at the hut at 16:00.  It was a fine Saturday but I did not see anyone on the track, and there was only me staying in the hut.  According to the hut's visitor book, majority of the users were TA walkers who stayed between December to February.  Got a phone reception after 3 days, and had a talk with Chiharu.  She said it would be bad weather from tomorrow arvo, so decided to start before dawn.  Went to bed at 21:00 for early start next day.  Walked 18km today.





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