It was really hard to get going on the morning of Day 3. Craig still had a bad knee, but the lady needed her walking pole back, so he had to resort to making his own out of a tree branch. I was covered in open wounds from where my backpack had been rubbing :( and it wasn't long before my legs started to feel the pain of walking so much downhill the previous day. My sister still seemed fighting fit though - but she is a super fit freak anyway.
Day 3 was the last day of the trek, and although it was longer distance wise, at least there were not too many ups and downs. We were back in the forest now, the path meandering by the river and lakeside.
Above is the Iris Burn Hut where we spent the night. Nice hut but full of sand flies!
The 'Big Slip' - a landslide that occurred back in 1984.
This river seemed a bit dry!
A New Zealand (South Island) Robin - Craig and I spent ages with two of these curious birds who came up very close to us. Below is some of my very bad footage (before I ran out of memory).
Craig loved the prehistoric looking forest - we had lots of pit stops for photo opportunities for his dinosaur blog. The breaks were killing me though - Craig made me a staff too as my legs were screaming in agony by the afternoon.
Unfortunately I ran out of camera memory, so the following photos are actually ones Craig took for me.
The river estuary coming out into Lake Manapouri.
We finally arrived at Moturau Hut, a lovely hut on the beach by Lake Manapouri. My mum came running up to meet us as we took a break here. How I wish we had opted to stay the night here! Unfortunately there was a further 6km walk ahead - which was pretty much all I could manage. This part of the track I had walked several times before so I didn't mind so much that I couldn't take anymore photos.
We finally got to Rainbow Reach at 7.30pm (so we had taken about 10.5hrs to walk the 22km from Iris Burn to Rainbow Reach). 2km an hour is a pretty poor pace to be honest! It was nice to get home and have a hot shower though - although we were promptly dragged out to a friend's barbecue.
So I had completed the Kepler Track, my first multi-day trek in New Zealand. It was great fun, but bloody hard work too. I did come away with a great sense of achievement though. Next time I might try the Routeburn Track!