Start: Comyns Hut
Finish: Harper Campsite
Distance: 16km

We had to be at the carpark at 1pm for our lift around the Rakaia river so decided last night that a 6.30am start would suffice, but I was regretting that decision this morning. I set my alarm for 5.30 but ended up snoozing it until 6, sacrificing breakfast.

We headed off up the 4WD track and I quickly perked up, even just climbing up a little bit and the view got amazing, looking forward and back.

It was an easy couple of hours before we got to the cute, aptly named A-Frame Hut where we stopped for a quick snack.

A short 150m climb later and we were rewarded with exceptional views over the Rakaia river and valley.

From here it was a relatively steep descent down through the valley and farmland and head-high grass which made my hayfever flare up.

We walked through a field of very loud but friendly sheep before coming out onto the road and waiting for Wayne to pick us up.

He kindly surprised us with some ice cold drinks and we chatted to fellow NOBO Kat who was also skipping the 29km road section and heading to the campsite tonight.

We set up our tents in the scorching heat and relaxed while also trying to avoid the sandflies. But they were too persistent and I had my dinner and retreated into the safety of my tent at 6pm.

Today definitely redeemed this section, I can now see why people rave about it.