February 25 – 26
35 44.393S 174 20.339E
Posting by Barb:
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Cape Brett Elevation chart:
Our friends Sonke and Tina invited us to go with them on the Cape Brett hike. We, of course said ‘yes!’ and thought no more of it until some of our ‘better educated on NZ hike’ friends, none of whom had done the complete ‘return’ hike, questioned our desire to do this. Well we were committed and Dylan was looking forward to experiencing the great NZ outdoors. The hike was a continuous trek up one incline and then down another. There seemed to be no end. As soon as we finished one grueling climb and down over the other side we were already looking at our next climb!! Not a sight to behold when Denny’s knees started to give him trouble. We
won’t lie, it was a tough hike. The trek traversed through native and bush, ran along the ridge and through some beautiful coastline terrain. But we did do some research and this is what we found out ” To walk this 16 km undulating track, you should be self-sufficient and will need to have a high degree of fitness and experience. You will need 8 hours of daylight one way to complete the journey to the old lighthouse settlement. You must take plenty of water to drink during the tramp. Carry a water treatment system if you are staying at the Cape Brett hut as the quality of drinking water cannot be guaranteed during summer.”
‘ We can do it!’ we said. We did do it but it was no ‘cake walk’. For any of you contemplating this hike it is well worth the beautiful scenery and the option is there to take a water taxi back from the hut but you do need a cell phone to contact them and good weather for a ‘pick up’.
We decided to pack fresh vegetables and noodles for our cookout at the hut. We each packed 3 litres of water and we brought along 2 bottles of wine for the celebratory drink. The hut was well equipped with everything we needed and the vegetable soup was exactly what we needed for nourishment. But it was the wine that hit the spot!! We found a pack of cards so the four of us had a round of card
‘golf’. All that we can say about that was that Tina won every single hand. Each time one of us thought we had a good hand she had a better one.
It was a beautiful night so Denny, Dylan and I dragged the mattresses outside and slept under the starts. Our total exhaustion allowed us to just lie there and think of nothing and enjoy the glitter in the sky. And every now and then we witnessed a falling star.
The next morning our stiff muscles tempted us to take the easy way out and order a water taxi but we didn’t give in.
Denny and I left 3 hours before every one else and slowly made our way back. The ‘young ones’ passed us half way through the trail. There was nothing more satisfying then walking past the last kilometer marking. Believe me we earned that satisfaction!!
That was just the first of many hikes Dylan would do while in New Zealand.