We stirred at 0615 and by the time we got away it was 0810. Arrived at Havelock motel at 1745 after finally covering about 34km. This was somewhat longer than we had planned for, so another physical day, although with not much up and down fortunately! The GPS for the day is here.
We had a short 1km climb from the camp back onto the trail followed by another 12km or so to Anakiwa and the official end of the Queen Charlotte Track. The track climbed up through more regenerating bush but later went down through some more mature beech stands. It is beautiful walking through these beech stands as the light is beautifully filtered and beech leaf on the ground makes for pleasant underfoot conditions! It helps that beech trees are B's favourite :-). Anakiwa itself seems a lovely little spot, with Outward Bound and the QC Track making it reasonably busy.
From there it was out onto Queen Charlotte Drive - partly on the road and partly on the Link Pathway, which is ultimately intended to connect Picton with Havelock. Currently, a fair bit of this stretch of QC Drive is still on the road, although they have just completed another section closer to Havelock. This means the last 5 km or so to the bridge just before Havelock is all off road through bush and scrub on a nice, compacted gravel track suitable for bikes as well. So it is gentle slopes and maxes out at only 150m ASL. Very pleasant walking for the end of a long day!
Across the bridge and up the hill saw us into Havelock's main drag - we had about another km to go to our motel. The Havelock Garden Motel was a lovely spot - we had chosen it mainly because accommodation seemed hard to come by when we booked only a few days ago. We found out this morning that the Havelock mussel festival was on tomorrow, and the nice lady at the motel said the room had only come free just before we booked it, because of a cancellation! Good timing. Anyway, a lovely spot to stay for us - and right next door to the entrance was the Mussel Pot restaurant, so B and I had a good nosh-up for dinner and I got a belated couple of birthday beers!
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!