Sort of Sunny on the West Coast (Part Two) – Paratu Stream

“On a Mish” #235 Sort of Sunny on the West Coast (Part Two). Paratu Stream. Arthurs Pass National Park. 28.12.2020. In Aotearoa we have places of beauty that are more known for the heavy rain that often falls there. The rain creates lush forests of many shades of green and the ferns and mosses rely on plenty of water falling from the sky. You need water to create a rain forest, but if you can get out to the West Coast on a sunny day you won’t be disappointed…

From the Morrison Footbridge I followed a section of the Te Araroa Trail, before turning right and gaining altitude via the open grassy flats at the base of One Shot Hill(1214m). My objective was to find a campsite somewhere near where the Paratu Stream enters the flats of the Otira Valley. There is a rough track up to the Waharoa Saddle near there, but I wasn’t going to go any higher than the flats.

Thanks to years of grazing by sheep and cattle there are excellent clearings, just perfect for camping. I found an awesome location on the riverbank under a massive lone Rimu tree. It is sad that there aren’t more of these great trees around any more.

First task accomplished, and now it was time to head back to the car for my second bag. On the journey back I realised I had gone much further than first expected to find my campsite. This meant it would be a while before I returned with the bag containing my tent. I was now at full commitment level, with half of my gear left in the wild with a Weka in charge of the camping area.

After collecting my second bag I eventually I got back up to Paratu Stream with the rest of my gear (most importantly my tent). To my surprise light rain began to fall so I pitched my tent quickly so I would have some shelter.

It rained on and off all afternoon and evening, but I found myself reasonably dry due to the shelter of the large Rimu tree. This sort of sunny day on the West Coast had done wonders for my head, and the rain wasn’t an issue at all. The light started to fade, and eventually the evening sun disappeared behind Kellys Hill(1394m). I was tired due to my recent lack of exercise, and even before it was dark I was wrapped up in my sleeping bag fast asleep…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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