Away 0730 for what was a TA projected 8.5 hour day. Ended up getting to Mid Wairoa Hut around 1530 for an early finish after 16.2km - 7 hours walking and an hour of rest stops. The days GPS track is here.
Apart from a trip around Purple Top, at about 1500m, the rest of the walk to Tarn Hut (1030m) was mainly down through beech forest. The day was misty and drizzly on and off and as we approached we could see the lake edge appear through the mist and trees. We walked around the lake to the hut at the southern end. It was 1130, so too early for lunch, but we stopped for 15 mins for a look around and to fill in the hut book.
Then it was away towards Mid Wairoa Hut where we planned to stop for the night. This hut is down at around 360m asl so there was a fair bit of downhill through the beech covered hills! The last little bit down to the river was particularly steep and hard on the knees! Came across a German guy nobo near the bottom but didn't really stop to chat.
From the Bushy Top junction, about 7km from the hut, we came across the first of a series of wasp bait stations that had been put in only a few days before. They were every 50m or so all the way to the hut. We certainly saw evidence of some sick looking wasps around and when we got to the hut the was a distinct absence of wasps. This was remarkable as a number of hut book entries over the last couple of weeks had alluded to lots of wasps being a problem at both Mid and Top Wairoa Huts. It was hard to imagine such an impact in a short space of time but the empirical evidence suggested it was working - fantastic to see DoC getting into the problem :-)
Just before the hut we crossed the river on another swingbridge - this one had a tricky little dismount at the end! It was only 100m or so to the hut from here. This hut had a little open fireplace (most are woodburners) so we lit a small fire for a couple of hours just to provide a little cheer! Managed to find some kindling and some wood to replace the little we burnt.
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"!!