Have you ever wanted to feel like you are part of The Lord of the Rings series? Then get yourself on the Moonlight Track at Arthurs Point in Queenstown. My friend recommended this track to me as she has mountain biked it but said it was more than suitable for hiking… If you are going to bike this track then you are bloody brave.
Every Sunday I like to have what hike we are going to do all planned out, this one maybe I should of planned a little better, but it all makes for the adventure. We drove out to the start of the track at Arthurs Point and set off, the day was cool and rain looked on the cards but nothing cold put us off a day in the backcountry. We set off unbeknown to the trail ahead. The track is pretty thin, sometimes steep and rocky and plays host to the biggest cows on the planet. The mountains have the incredible ability of making you feel so tall yet so small in your surroundings. The Southern Alps are in view, the wild grass and tree’s grow in any direction and the addition of fresh lambs make this walk as New Zealand as possible.
We started to trek, not knowing where or how long it would take us to reach ‘the end’ I felt like Frodo and Sam Wise setting out on their mission to Mordor the longer we walked. I fully admit on making our hikes last at least an hour longer as I stop for photos. The weather looked like it was about to take a turn for the worst but only a few showers happened along the way. We were walking for hours, up and down and crossing rivers. I am 25 years old yet have still mastered the talent of being able to use stepping stones or steady myself on one foot, inevitably I came out the other side with soggy feet even after trying to listen and watch Robbie glide across the stones. We reached a dirt road, big enough for cars and thought that the end must be near. The end being Moke Lake, somewhere we had both wanted to go to and thought instead of driving there we would walk the long way round. The lake was in sight, she may of been a tiny dot in the distance but it was still there. As we got closer, my legs were working a little quicker for the rest stop. Ben Lomond Horse treks park up their horses here so unfortunately the rest was going to have to wait as I coo’d over all the pretty Horses in the field and tried to feed them tufts of the same grass they were already grazing.
We had walked around three hours to get to Moke Lake and she was a beauty, we sat, ate and got mauled by Sandflies, filled up our water bottles and contemplated the walk back. I was recalling all the hills we walked down, which would mean a walk of total incline to get back to the car. The van to take the keen riders back to Queenstown had just rocked up, did we risk it and hitchhike back? or do we just man up and walk. We clearly deliberated too long and the van drove off. We will just walk, it won’t be that bad… Cut to me puffing and panting up the steepest hill and having to stop to get my breath fully back or risk being left for dead. Im being dramatic of course, it was tough but the views on the way back were equally as inviting as the walk there. A small rain shower was greatly appreciated to help us cool down and the grass flat track back to the car was in sight.
We were walking around a thin bend when a Bull came into view, he was on the track and staring straight at us, his Mrs had already made her way up the hill and it was if he was waiting for us to come around the corner. We waited and waited for him to move, dead still, my energy levels were at an all time low and I was not in the mood to be running from a beast. His shoulder muscles were bulging, this guy must work out. After an intense stare down he clearly deemed us not worthy of a fight he trotted off up the verge, we quickly made it past this part of the track to avoid further confrontation! We worked out that we had completed around 32kms on this hike, there and back. It was a tough one but everything I love about getting out for a full day in Mother Natures playground. I was grateful for Robbie’s patience and also the reserve snacks and drinks I had left in the car.
As we tootled home I couldn’t quite believe the walk we had just done, thats until I tried to step out of the car and the pain in my legs had already kicked in. Fully worth the pain for the experience and another of Wakatipu’s wonderful hikes ticked off the list.