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Day 8 of part 4 (last one) – Deception/Mingha route over Goat Pass (27k, 6h40h

Well that was different! Got a lift with Bill from the campground and a load of trail runners (out here to recce the Coast to Coast run route) to Morrisons footbridge, then up the Deception to Goat’s Pass hut and on down the Mingha to Greyney’s shelter. Wasn’t planning on doing it but Bill talked …

Day 7 of part 4 – Bealey Hotel to Greyney’s Shelter (7k, 2.5h)

Short day – buffet breakfast at hotel then waited for Colin and Tenley to rock up from the hut. Got going just after 10.30 : easy stroll to Greyney’s Shelter. Took a bit of an alternate route as suggested by SOBOs we met yesterday – crossed the Waimakariri right by the hotel (follow ‘River walk’ …

Day 6 of part 4 – Hamilton to Bealey hotel (20k, 6h)

Well that took longer than I expected! Waved everyone off and chilled out in hut until 11 as thought it would only take 4h and hotel checkin doesn’t open until 3pm. Pretty straightforward to start but then got stuck with yet more unobvious river crossings and scrambles over rocks, plus chats with lots of SOBOs. …

Day 4 of part 4 – Methven to Trustpower campsite by Lake Coleridge. 12k walking (lifts!) 3h-ish

Lift out of Methven with Darren from the campground. Persuaded him to drive me partway up the road to Lake Georgina to start walking (played the ‘terrible blisters’ card, which tbh they are…) Glorious scenery all round and hot sunny day. Lovely! Got talked into another mini-lift for a few km a bit further on …

Day 5 of part 4 – Trustpower campsite to Hamilton Hut. (19km, 4h45)

Phew – more river crossings and another district lack of poles. Someone really needs to buy DOC a few more sets… Found track start fine after warm and cosy night in the Lanshan (although it rustled like a crisp packet all night in the wind). Following the riverbank all the way up to the Avoca …

Day 3 of part 4 – Comyn’s Hut to Double Hill Road (17k, 4h)

Much nicer day! Easy walking and running on 4WD tracks for most of the day. Few ups and downs to start then along a wide river valley (not in the river this time) and past A-frame Hut (cute – would be nice to stay but only 4 bunks). Steady grind up to saddle for awesome …

Day 2 of part 4 – Double Hut to Comyn’s Hut (16k, 6.5h!)

Well that was a day! Just a few warnings if you’re planning on doing this section. After the stream crossing as you start uphill, the track disappears into a section of matagouri and Spaniards. The poles also mostly disappear. Just head diagonally uphill (use the TA app) and grit your teeth – eventually you make …

Day 1 of Part 4 (Lake Clearwater to Double Hut) 32k 6h

Well it’s January so it must be another section of TA! This time starting at Lake Clearwater. Got a lift in from Geraldine with awesome TA trail angel Mike Brown, and on his suggestion used the Eastern Link Track to join up with TA route as an alternative to starting at Potts River. Great choice …