Of course, an early start! Set the alarm for 7am. The bags have to be packed and out the door for 7:30 so it can be loaded into the van while we are having a quick breakfast. There are cold options of muesli, cereal, toast, muffins, fruit and yogurt but you can order a cooked egg/bacon/pancake/toast hot version also. Our first hike of the day is through mountain beech forest and stunted alpine gardens above the tree line from the historic village of Arthur's Pass. The trail is well formed with wooden stairs nearly all the way to the Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall.
We stop at a private lodge for lunch where they serve up a classic NZ barbeque of skewered meats and various fresh veggies and salads. Back in the van for another 2 hrs drive to the alpine town of Franz Joseph.
The weather has continued to be uncommonly warm, sunny and rain-free. The leaders are constantly mentioning how lucky we are to have such continuing good weather. The local joke is they tell the weather by that mountain out there. If you can see it, it's not raining. If you can't see the mountain, it's raining!
Our lodging for this night is a 5-star hotel, quite lovely but we don't have a lot of time there. In the parking lot I spot a Peugeot Trax which is exactly like my Chevy Trax back at home which explains why we haven't seen any Chevy vehicles.
Fitbit, 8.3 km; MA, 8.6 km