Critical Voice by Terry Locke

Walking the Heaphy Track

This page links to a title poem “Walking the Heaphy Track”. This poem has something of a relationship an an actual four-walk I did of this famous track with others in January, 2003. (A non-hypertext version of the poem can be found in Ranging Around the Zero, Steele Roberts, 2014.) The walk itself was stimulus for the poem. We did the walk in four days and felt rather proud of ourselves at the end of its 82 kilometres.

The Heaphy Track is remarkably diverse, beginning at the junction of the Brown and Aorere Rivers in Nelson, rising steeply and traversing a range of landscapes in the Kahurangi National Park before descending to the mouth of the Heaphy River (above) on the South Island’s west coast. On the last day, if your travel from east to west, the track follows this coastline in a southerly direction, with the rolling breakers of the Tasman Sea to your right.

The poems are not an account of the tramp. Nor do the claim to reflect the experience of my fellow trampers. Rather the tramp was a starting point for what has become something of a hypertextual allegory.

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