Hiking the Overland Track – Day 6: Windy Ridge to Narcissus

Last day of the walk. I approached it with nothing but dread and grim determination. Which felt wrong. The climbs were over. This was supposed to be the easy bit - 9km of "gradual easy descent to Narcissus hut through eucalypt forest and across buttongrass plains". But even jamming my feet into my still damp …

Hiking the Overland Track – Day 5: Kia Ora to Windy Ridge

I was hobbling. Fresh blisters were now forming on the inner sides of both my heels, joining the blisters that had engulfed my big toe and two pinkie toes. My pace had slowed to a crawl, and stopping for breaks meant painful restarts, so I just grimly plowed on. The tale of the pilgrim who …

Hiking the Overland Track – Day 4: Pelion to Kia Ora

The rains finally abated. I stole out of my tent to the helipad and watched the clouds dance over the imposing dolerite face of Mount Oakleigh while a thin layer of fog clung around its base. The camp was not yet stirring. I took the opportunity to stretch out. It still amazed me how my brother …

Hiking the Overland Track – Day 2: Waterfall Valley to Lake Windemere

The winds and rain assailed us for most of the night, dying down only at daybreak. When I no longer heard the rustling of the winds and only the call of birds, I poked my head out of my tent, to stare right into the face of a calmly grazing pademelon. It paid me little …

Hiking the Overland Track – Day 1: Ronny Creek to Waterfall Valley

The anticipation was high as we strapped on our gaiters and hoisted our backpacks to pose for a group shot at the start of the Overland Track. When I had thought about it, 65km of trail walking over 6 days didn't seem too bad. It just averaged 11km a day. How hard could it be, …