Weather forecast still looking bleak but no sign of rain in Queenstown. Our morning consisted of preparing our packs and dropping off unnecessary items to the hotel we hope to sleep at on Friday night if all goes well for us!
Our bus departed at 12:15pm to take us to the start of the walk at the Routeburn Shelter. This trip took us along the side of Lake Wakatipu to the very top end where we had a brief stop in the town of Glenorchy. From here it was pretty obvious that there was plenty of rain in them mountains, but we still had another 30min ride to the start of the track.
The Shelter was a new modern structure that was a good place to don our full wet weather gear and head off on the first leg of this journey.
Whilst the clouds hung low and there was a little rain as we were preparing ourselves, we actually never got a drop along the way on our first day.
Once we hit the track we were simply in awe of the beauty that surrounded us. Everything is so green with a beautiful meandering path carved through the trees following an aquamarine river of pure crystal clear water.
I’ve hit a major technology issue. Before leaving I changed over to a spare memory card for the camera and left all the others back at the hotel. Unfortunately the camera has told me that the card is full after only 85 photos! The card when formatted correctly is capable of 2500 photos at the highest 20MP setting. That means no photos from the Sony RX100 for the rest of the Routeburn trip! I must have formatted it incorrectly on my computer! My only backup is the iPhone that can take a reasonable photo, but only in good light. However, no comparison to the Sony! So I had a dilemma, either sacrifice the 85 photos and reformat or cull over half of the original 85 photos and dial back the quality settings to give me space for approx 100 more photos. After consultation with the better half I was told NOT to reformat!
We arrived at the Routeburn Falls hut after about a 9km hike in. This hut is the newest we have experienced in NZ and whilst still very basic, was nicely done with great views from the balcony. The weather forecast told us that the day started with heavy rain from 6am and clearing by 2:00pm which was when we commenced our walk. However they were expecting light rain developing into heavy rain by the afternoon tomorrow. We’ll just have to take it as it comes!
We scored a 2 double bunk compartment for ourselves, so room to spread out. Unfortunately the walls are very thin and snoring can be heard throughout the room with about 20 people sharing this bunk room tonight!
Before turning in for the evening we were treated to a spectacular star filled sky on a clear night. Wow! Although it might be a little chilly?