18-26 May, 2017. (Posted 11 June.)
It’s not often that you get a whole new island to explore! We didn’t know much about Stewart Island until recently – not much more than it was very wet, the tracks were very muddy, almost nobody lived there, and the kiwi came out during the day. At 47 degrees south, there is nothing to the east until you get to Chile, nothing to the west until Argentina, and nothing to the south until Antarctica.
Our good friend Andrew was joining us for a couple of weeks. We were looking for a suitably long walk with huts to avoid endless nights in tents. We arrived on the island expecting to do both Northwest and Southern circuits in 9 days. Some late information about the Southern Circuit – especially the prospect of waist deep mud – persuaded us to limit our ambitions. The NW circuit – advertised as 9-11 days with huts every night – seemed to fit our requirements perfectly. That said, 68-year-old Joan (see Milford Track blog) reckoned that we only needed 6 days.
The first day of the NW circuit shares follows the Rakiura Great Walk. So the track quality is easy.
Blue is the theme colour for the day! Andrew and Dave, about to depart Yankee River hut.