Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 88-97

Even the boat has little orange markers leading the way along the Te Araroa trail!
The South Island approaches
Daqy 88 (5k) No tramping per se, but a lot of steps to get out of Wellington, down to the bus, over to the train station and down to the ferry dock.

dbBrad in Cook Strait, halfway between North and South Islands along the Te Araroa Trail
Day 89 A rainy day around Picton preparing for the Queen Charolette track with Sandra

Approaching the South Island of New Zealand
Day 90 (20k) Departed Picton on an hour plus ferry ride to reach Captain Cook Monument on the tip of a penninsula which defines Queen Charlotte Sound. Sandra, my temporary hiking companion, and I hiked over a hill and around Endeavour Inlet to Madsens Camp. Run by Tony Madsen, an awsome laid back guy who shared his wonderful life with us for a day.

dbBrad and the Pacific as viewed from Cook Strait, along the Te Araroa trail

A beautiful sunset in New Zealand as we approach Marlboro Sounds, NZ, South Island
Day 91 (zero k) Today the sun was out and we slept in a bit, waking up to Madsens Camp and the sounds of birds, a light breeze, warmth and the smell of the ocean and a cozy little campground all to ourselves. We stayed and Tony (Madsens Camp owner) spoiled us with smoked muscles we picked out of the water, some home made goods and even a row boat for us to play in.

Ferry approaching Picton, NZ
If you're hiking the Queen Charolotte track along the Te Araroa trail at the north end of New Zealand's south island, go to Camp Madsens, best camping and host along that track. According to, not only to dbBrad, but to previous Te Araroa trampers and experts Niki and Cookie

And the next day, on a smaller ferry and off to the beginning of the Queen Charlotte track.
Day 92 (17.8k) The trail, though nice lacked, compared to the comfort of Camp Madsens, but we plugged along to Cove Shelter where it was rainy but at least we had the shelter to ourselves and the cheeky Wica bird who kept trying to steal everything.

Day 93

dbBrad and Sandra left behind on the dock at Cook Monument, the very beginning of the Te Araroa on the South Island.

Marlboro Sounds and native bush.

Somewhere along the Te Araroa trail, New Zealand, South Island.

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Eating fresh mussels at Camp Madsens, the best camping along the Te Araroa trail

While Sandra and I were hanging out at Camp Madsens, along came Philip and Madelin. What a pleasant surprise!

Row, row, row your boat, compliments of Tony, the best host ever at Camp Madsens

Camp Madsens along the Queen Charlotte track, a great place and a wonderful host

Sandra Belker

New Zealand, South Island, as viewed from the Te Araroa trail

This picture turned out pretty good, making this semi-obnoxious sign (with incorrect distances) in my view, look better than it really does.

dbBrad and dbSandra on a cool morning.

Water, forest and steep hills, what more could you expect from a picture along the Te Araroa trail?

Sandra was a good sport, despite sand-fly allergies, blisters and a sprained ankle.

And we made it to the end of the Queen Charlotte track, Yippie!

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