Ten of us set out in two cars from the steps of the Cathedral heading towards the Pelorus River.

Before crossing the bridge on State Highway 6 by River we took the inland road for about 14 km where good parking is available. The track follows the same route of the Te Araroa Trail and a few fit looking trampers of all ages were spotted along the road walking their northbound (NOBO) route towards the Pelorus main road.

We started walking around 9.30am. The track was easy with a few undulations and minor slips, but otherwise was in very good condition. It leads through lovely beech forest with good views of the Pelorus River.

Further into the valley you walk through an old forest consisting of large rimu, matai, totara, tree ferns and of course more beech trees.

The day was quite young and looking down on some amazing green coloured swimming holes there was the promise of a refreshing dip on our return trip.

The 6 bunk Captains Creek Hut (110m) was reached after about 3 hours. It is set in a clearing with ready access to the river. I can just imagine what it’s like walking the Te Araroa Trail having this lovely swimming hole set in a shallow canyon, available for a welcome wash!

Pelorus river washing spot at the hutCaptains Creek Hut swimming hole

A relaxed lunch was enjoyed sitting at the barbecue table, alas having to swot a few pesky sand flies. Oh how they invade the beauty spots!

Lunch at Captains Creek hutLunch at Captains Creek hut

In the meantime the sun had reached the track and the return trip was marked by a rather gorgeous and welcome swim in the Emerald Pool, its name totally justified reflecting the beautiful colour of this long green water hole. That felt so good!!  All the better to get away from the clouds of sand flies hanging around you while getting ready for the dip!

Looking into Emerald PoolLooking into inviting Emerald Pool

The effects of the swim soon wore off walking back to the car park where we arrived about 5 pm. 

It took us about 7.5 hours to walk there and back including breaks, walking at a good pace.

Generous ice creams were enjoyed in Rai Valley. 

Thank you Michele for the excellent organisation as usual :)

Participants: Michele (Leader), Annette (scribe), Era, Yumi, David, Beth, Peter, Maaike, visitors Chantelle and Gordie.