Before walking the Kapiti Coast to lovely Wellington, the tramper must negotiate the challenging, but breathtaking, Tararua Range.
TA Day 60, Makahika Outdoor Pursuits to Dracophyllum Hut, 25 km
A 2-day weather-window means fast walking over muddy, tussocky ridges and goblin forests.
TA Day 61, Dracophyllum Hut to Waitewaewae Hut, 13 km
On a spectacular day, Blissful summits Mount Crawford before steeply down to the Otaki River.
TA Day 62, Waitewaewae Hut to Waikanae, 34 km
It’s a sidling nightmare past a landslip, up to Mount Pukeatua, and down a clear cut to road.
TA Day 63, Waikanae to Paikakariki, 21 km
After tough mountain walking, it’s easy along the river, an estuary and the grogeous beach.
TA Day 64-65, Side trip! Mt. Taranaki
Blissful climbs Mount Taranaki to greet the sunrise on New Year’s Day as the first to summit.
TA audio narrative: weather window
The most important lesson I learned is if the weather is good, keep moving.
TA Day 66, zero day
Trail Angels Rob and George insist I take a zero day and they give me Veet to finally clean up my legs.
TA Day 67, Paekakariki to Camp Elsdon, 28 km
The Escarpment Track rises steeply with fabulous views of Pukerua Bay and the Tasman Sea.
TA Day 68, Camp Elsdon to Wellington, 29 km
It’s steep up Colonial Knob, then quiet Ohariu Valley and Mount Kaukau with Wellie views.
TA Day 69, Wellington
Blissful takes a “nero” walking through the Botanic Gardens and visiting bays strung like pearls.
TA Day 70, ‘slackpack’ Wellington, 15 km
It’s up steep Mount Victoria and Albert before visiting Shorland Park at the end of the island.