New Zealand Day Ten. Stewart Island: A Hike In The Rakiua National Park.

New Zealand Day Ten. Stewart Island: A Hike In The Rakiua National Park.

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I was pleased to see the sunrise from my room on my third day on Stewart Island. I was worried about the rain in the forecast. I was planning  a 8 1/2 mile  hike in the Rakiua National Park.  Although I brought my rain gear on the trip, I didn’t want to use it.  sunrise over Halfmoon Bay

I left my lodge around 7:30 a.m. and walked down to the dock on Halfmoon Bay .  I joined about twenty  other folks eager to hike  on the  famous Rakiua Track. A water taxi was going to drop us off at Point William, near a hut or camping area along the trail. ride on water taxi

Some, like me would  hike the trail back to Oban. Others were going tramping on the entire trail. Tramping is  hiking and camping overnight and very popular in New Zealand. seagull in flight

Our boat set out on some rough seas in a steady wind. We were accompanied by some seagulls who followed our boat. crested penguin on rock

As we left Halfmoon Bay our captain pointed out this Fiordland crested penguin sitting on a rocky outcrop. I was very pleased to see it since now I only needed to  observe  one more major  species of penguin in the wild to have seen all the penguin  major species on the planet. And I hoped to see one of these later on my visit to the South Island.sun obscured by clouds on boat

The boat took us about twenty minutes  to get to Point William and the sun was shining when we departed our boat. Here is a link to some more photographs of our water taxi ride. New Zealand Day Ten Water taxi ride February 15 2019. dock at Point Williams

As I walked ashore I saw this shag sunning itself on a rock.shag on rock

I wanted to see the hut or camp at Point Williams.

I would have loved to stay overnight in this primitive quarters. I talked with a few of the trampers and learned a lot about their experiences hiking throughout New Zealand.

These huts are in great demand and a cot must be reserved a year in advance of your stay. I would love to return someday and walk the entire  Rakiua track.

Today I only had to walk the 8 1/2 miles back to Oban. It was sunny when I started my walk from the beautiful beach at Point William. However rain was supposed to arrive by noon so I quickly began my hike through the heavily wooded trail.

I was alone on the trail.  Most of the passengers on the water taxi doing the entire track and headed inland. And the few walking back to Oban where now ahead of me because of my visit to the Point William hut.

I loved walking under the old native trees. I heard birds  singing in the tree tops but couldn’t get many photographs in the thick foliage. I was able to photograph a few tui birds,

and this bird I have still not been able to identify. Any help with an identification would be appreciated.

I walked under the thick canopy of tree for about 2  miles when I caught up with some fellow hikers at Maori Beach.

There was a bridge spanning  a stream that flowed into this beautiful beach.

I knew I could walk the 8 1/2 miles  but it was much more difficult than i anticipated because the trail would climb a hillside and descend to a beach. It was worth the effort.

I came to a few more beaches. 

And found some nice views of the ocean.

The rain held off as left Rakiura National Park and the chain sculpture I  visited the day before. Here is a link to my photos from my walk. New Zealand Day Ten Rakiura National Park walk February 15 2019

I walked over the  insightful quotation inscriptions on plaques along the trail. 

It was sunny when I left the park and walked along a paved road three miles back to Oban.

I walked to scenic Horseshoe Bay.

I now came upon a few residences and wondered what it would be like to live on this remote island.

I watched some seagulls along the beach.

The road now climbed a steep hill and descended again to a stream that flowed to the ocean.  Here I  saw a New Zealand kingfisher and,

a white crowned heron.

I was tired, hungry and thirsty when I made it into Oban in about 3 1/2 hours. I walked into the South Sea hotel for a hearty lunch. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike from the park. New Zealand Day Ten  Rakuria Park to Oban February 15 2019.

After lunch I walked back to my lodge and made it just in time. The rain they were predicting started to fall. It wasn’t a bad thing. I was tired from my 9 miles of hiking  so I relaxed and watched the rain from my room.

It rained for a few hours but by late afternoon, there were some breaks in the clouds and the rain stopped. I was treated to see a rainbow form over  Halfmoon Bay.

Thanks to Peter and his wife I was able to get a reservation at the Church Hill Boutique Lodge and Restaurant. The famous chef Gordon Ramsay stayed at the lodge a few weeks before I arrived on the island. 

My reservation wasn’t until 7 p.m. so I had some time for a quick hike on the Fuchsia  Trail not far from my lodge. I climbed the trail under a canopy of large old growth trees.

After exploring   this trail for about an hour  I walked up the hill to the Church Hill Lodge for dinner.  I had a  wonderful meal of local mussels and fresh salmon I saw my host Peter and his wife and had a nice chat with the owner.

After lunch I took a short walk to the trail near Bathing Beach hoping to see the elusive kiwi on my last evening on the island. I looked out on the harbor on the way.

I walked the trail for another 1 1/2 hours hoping to see the kiwi. I didn’t. It was getting dark so I walked back to my lodge, disappointed that I didn’t see the kiwi.

But satisfied with another great day of adventure in New Zealand. Here is a link to some more photographs from my evening walk. New Zealand Day Ten Stewart Island evening walk. February 15 2019.“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert

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