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  • Writer's pictureJenny

Days 150-152 Colac bay to Bluff

Day 150 ~ Walked: 13 km ~ Start: Colac bay ~ End: Riverton (km 2,947)

So happy to be on the coast today. It’s been more than two months since we walked on the beach. And another short day planned which makes things so relaxing.

We met a couple at the pub last night who invited us to stop at their bach for a coffee on our way past. After our leisurely lie in and an hours beach walking we got to Grant and Angela’s place in perfect time for morning coffee. They were such a lovely couple and we had so much in common it felt like we were old friends.

Looking back over Colac bay

Once the beach finished, the track went over farmland dropping down into little bays then back up and over cliffs. We could see our destination of Bluff the whole way around.

Stewart Island

Enough little challenges with battling overgrown flaxes, muddy banks and rocky ledges to keep it real.

There was a final climb up a hill through reserve land then dropping down into the picturesque community of Riverton

where we found a nice spot for a late lunch.

We’re staying with Bill and Jo in Invercargill for the rest of our journey, with Bill offering to pick us up and return us to our stop/start points each day. So Bill picked us up once we’d finished lunch (around 3) and we had enough time to relax and do chores and enjoy the sun before pre dinner drinks started.

Dog with safety glasses on seen on the road

Thanks for yummy dinner Jo

Day 151 ~ Walked: 26 km ~ Start: Oreti beach ~ End: Awarua (km 2,990)

Bill dropped us onto Oreti beach on the Invercargill side of a river crossing that we couldn’t do as the tides weren’t right. The sun was just coming up and a beautiful time to be on the beach.

It was very reminiscent of 90 mile beach - long, empty and nice walking on the firm sand. I was happy ticking off the kms in this way.

This car didn’t make it out alive

After the beach there was a bike track into the outskirts of Invercargills CBD then around the estuary. The estuary was pretty in parts

but then we were into a wasteland/ wetland area with a bit of industrial activity around that was not so pretty.

Mountains of oyster shells

We were being passed quite regularly by tour aotearoa riders on their way to the Bluff finish as well (having biked from cape reinga over the last 3 weeks or so). It seems likely there’ll be a bunch of them tomorrow as well when we reach Bluff. I hope there’s not to much congestion around the sign interrupting our photos.

We were happy to get through to Awarua before Bill picked us up, as it’ll lessen the boring gravel path we’ll have to do tomorrow, making our finish day just a bit more enjoyable.

We have been so blessed with the weather on our 151 days to date. We have only had to walk in the rain for six half days, none of which have been consecutive. We did come off trail and were able to be at home to sit out bad weather on two occasions: the week before Christmas, and a week in February when there was a weather bomb over the country followed by cyclone Dovi. And we also did have to wait a few extra days at both St Arnaud and Hanmer Springs for river levels to drop - never at huts though. The long hot summer has made our trip just that much more enjoyable as I think most of those six half days feature in my top 10 worst days. Our main problem, and likely the cause of the remaining days in the top 10 worst, was the heat and consequently dehydration I suffered a few times. We had quite a stretch where we were walking in 30+ degree heat.

Bring on tomorrow and the grand finale !!

Day 152 ~ Walked: 22 km ~ Start: Awarua ~ End: BLUFF (km 3,012)

Wow. What a day. So many emotions. I am so proud of us both, as well as relieved, happy, grateful, humbled, and even a touch of sadness it’s now finished. It’s been a massive five months on the trail and almost six months since we started out, so todays been a long time coming.

It’s been an amazing experience and while I can’t say I’ve loved every single minute, its been the most rewarding as well as hardest and most challenging thing I’ve done in my life.

It’s very surreal, and I haven’t fully got my head around what we’ve done yet, or the fact we’ve been able to walk The. Length. of. NZ!!! There’s so many people I want to thank but will do a separate post on that.

As for today we set off in the worst weather we’ve ever had to - I obviously jinxed it with yesterdays comments.

It was raining and blowing a gale but we were ready to get it done. The rain only lasted half an hour but the wind was knocking us around most of the way into Bluff.

Bill and Jo wanted to meet us at the end and we’d got to Bluff much quicker than expected so our last two km were done extremely slow to give them a chance to arrive.

What a welcome they gave us.

Balloons, a finish line, medals, party poppers and of course the bubbly.

All so much appreciated as without them the only recognition of what we’d done was the little sign on the car park kerb.

For now a little rest and reflection and reunite with family and friends. I’ll do one or two more posts to wrap things up but this one is to say - Mission accomplished.

Day 150 ~ Walked: 13 km ~ Start: Colac bay ~ End: Riverton (km 2,947)

Day 151 ~ Walked: 26 km ~ Start: Oreti beach ~ End: Awarua (km 2,990)

Day 152 ~ Walked: 22 km ~ Start: Awarua ~ End: BLUFF (km 3,012)

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The joy on your faces in every photo says it all. Tremendous pleasure in an incredible achievement. Reading your descriptions over the months, the pain and effort you put in really came through in your words. Hard for us watchers from our screen to know what you have truly been through. Enjoy the Victory !


Rhonda Scott
Rhonda Scott

Wow, I feel sad its all over. I really enjoyed following your adventures. Congratulations!!! and the big question is what is next???


Thanks for following. What’s next is just a rest for a bit. That’s all that’s planned for now.

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