Start: Te Anau
Finish: Kiwi Burn Hut
Distance: 27km

After a beautiful 4 rest days in Te Anau, including a Milford Sound cruise it feels good to be back on the trail.

We catch an early shuttle out to the start of the next section at the Mavora Lakes turnoff before starting down the dusty gravel road.

The first 10km go quickly, despite my hips vaguely aching and so we start looking for a track down to the river…it should be here somewhere…

A couple of orange poles lead down to a fence and gate and then disappear. A quick discussion has us continuing along the road, silently regretting not sticking our thumbs out to the cars that passed earlier.

Kilometre after kilometre in the scorching 27° heat, trying to rest on shade wherever we could, the only saving grace is the beautiful mountain views the whole way, that and the many cute lambs.

I start to get a little bit homesick along the stretch of road. I start counting kilometres in comparison to the 1.5km loop my mum and I walk the dogs around, and then that spirals into everything else I will be missing.

After another 15km we look for an access down to the river but find none so decide to follow the farm race we see. Only the track doesn’t lead to the river and we end up having to walk across paddocks and climbing a fence to reach the riverbank.

We swap our boots for sandals and put our phones safely in our packs before assessing the river.

From the bank it looks calm so we shakily wade in.

But we were wrong, it is extremely strong, the current making my poles shake.

Slippery rocks underneath and huge sandals made for a slow and scary cross, made even worse by the fact I hadn’t put my camera away and the water was getting deeper and deeper.

One shaky step at a time we made it across and found the marker poles again.

We made our way back to the main track and from here it was a few KMs through beautiful forest and open valleys to the luxurious Kiwi Burn Hut.