Walking the Heaphy Track from Golden Bay to Karamea had never been one of my highest life priorities, but when a group of friends invited us to join them for a walk through over five days in October of last year, I agreed, despite my reservations about the time of year – this can be a rather damp time on the Coast!
After all the preparations had duely been made, we set out for Nelson, assembling in the city early on a rainy Tuesday morning, with the shuttle driver cheerfully optimistic that we would make it through the fords up the Aorere River, despite the heavy overnight rain. We did, but not without a little drama, and by lunchtime were ready to set off on the steady climb from Brown’s Hut up to the new hut at the Perry Saddle. Intermittent rain continued throughout the afternoon, and I was happy to keep my camera gear packed away for much of the time, as the track meandered up through beech forest with little variety for much of the time. Approaching the highest point on the walk at Perry Saddle things became more interesting, but passing squally showers encouraged a quick dash to the hut with hardly a click of the shutter.