Overland Track Day 5 – Kia Ora to Windy Ridge

From this part of the hike onwards, much of the trail is through different types of forest: Rain forest, Myrtle forest and dry Euclypt Forests. I’ve hiked through plentiful forests in my travels and when compared to my preferred wide open spaces and mountain vistas, being constantly surrounded by trees instills a sense of being closed in. So, I wasn’t looking forward to this half of the trail as much as the first half.

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Then again, this stage of the hike is known as the waterfall walk, as there are several large waterfalls on side tracks. This part of the track also seemed to be the busiest. The first stop on the trail is Du Cane hut, an old hut on the trail belonging to an aged trapper that worked in this areas many decades ago.

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After a pause at the hut I continued along the trail. 30 minutes later I arrived at the junction to the first of the falls. There were already plentiful packs left at the junction, so I added mine to the group and headed down the long side trail to another junction.

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Then an easy walk to D’alton Falls…

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…and Fergusson Falls, where I had to climb down a rocky bank to get a better look.

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A further 30 minutes down the track, I came to the junction of Hartnell Falls – the largest` set of falls in the area. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a very easy view of the falls from the side, so I headed back to my pack and headed on.

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The rest of the day consisted of a climb through the forest up to Du Cane Gap past Falling Mountain, which you cannot see through the trees, then down again to Windy Ridge and the Bert Nichols hut. At the hut we discussed the reasoning behind the name Windy Ridge, but came to no firm conclusion since it’s not really a ridge and being immersed in forest, not really windy either.

I settled in for the evening, played a couple of games with my travelling companions and prepared for the walk tomorrow. I’m taking a side trail for the night to Pine Valley hut – a hut that is not actually on The Overland Track, but most people go there anyway.

The Lone Trail Wanderer

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