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Friday, May 14, 2004
Overland Track - Day 3 - Pine Valley Hut to Kia-Ora Hut
I packed and had some breakfast at a leisurely pace this morning, and it was a lovely 3°C in the hut.
I left the hut at 9am, and walked back to the Overland Track. There were quite a few puddles and ponds which were frozen over.
Walking along the Overland Track again, I was going through more Eucalypt, and eventually came to Windy Ridge Hut, which is a small emergency only hut.
The track climbed sharply for quite a while, still mainly in Eucalypt, and eventually reached Du-cane Gap, which had limited views of the surrounding mountains through the trees. The weather was great – clear blue skies, and I had some lunch in the sun just after Du-cane Gap.
After lunch, the track descended slowly through Myrtle forest, and I came to the Harnett Falls turnoff. I dropped my pack, and walked the fairly flat 10 minutes out to the falls. The power of the falls was impressive, as there was a lot of water going over, however, the view wasn't great, since you could only see the very top of the falls, where the water went over the edge, and the river flowing away in a deep narrow canyon far below.
After walking back to the main track, I continued on to the turnoff for D'Alton and Ferguson Falls. The track to the falls went down steeply, I went to Ferguson Falls first, and it was a very impressive sight. I was able to scramble down onto a rock near the base of the falls, with the water roaring over the falls right in front of me.
D'Alton Falls were also quite impressive, as they were very high. The track was above a very deep canyon, into which the water was pouring, and unlike Harnett Falls, the entire falls were visible.
After a little further on the main track, I came to Du-Cane Hut (it seemed a lot further than my book said). Du-Cane Hut is a historic slab hut in a clearing beneath a big Dolorite mountain – quite pretty. The whole hut is on an angle, with the floor and walls leaning downhill.
I walked on through forest, and after another 40 minutes, came finally to Kia-Ora Hut. Kia-Ora Hut has some great views of the surrounding mountains, and the Doloroite rock faces were lit red by the setting sun – it was very pretty.
After dinner, I went to get some water, and was looking at the stars – a huge number were visible, making normal constellations hard to find. I also saw about four satellites pass over.