Monday, 22 February 2010

Heading north - slowly

After the pleasures of Fiordland we headed in to Eyre Mountains and Mavora Lakes which provided several days of good walking, some excellent bike rides to old musterers huts and peaceful camping in empty DoC sites. A puncture some 40 miles down a dirt track caused a few anxious moments as we returned then to Te Anau some 60 miles away where two new tyres were fitted by the team at Mobil - my ability to mislay the security bolt for the wheels merely added to the excitement.
A drift towards friends near Ashburton took us over Lindis Pass with a night spent near Lake Ohau where we intend to return in a few weeks time after a brief visit to Auckland in early March.

We are now apart as Sarah is mid way through her ride at Alpine Horse Safaris near Hurunui and I am in Christchurch arranging our onward trip to Australia later in the year plus our return to the UK in the interim, probably in September.

The excellent weather has continued so we hope to enjoy more of the Alps and then the West coast where apparently things get even quieter - the main kiwi holiday season is drawing to a close and the visitors from abroad tail off as well but other than at Queenstown we have yet to experience any great numbers of tourists anywhere.

A few pics at the link - again it may need highlighting to access them.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Re the last post - Phwoardland there seems to be a glitch with the Picasa link - if you want to view the pics you will need to highlight the whole link and then right click to go there - I will now try and resolve the issue by actually reading the Picasa instructions !!

Thursday, 4 February 2010


Since leaving the Catlins we have headed in to New Zealand's largest National Park Fiordland where we have been able to explore some of the remoter areas during a prolonged and welcome dry spell.
The South Coast Track took us to the historic former timber milling centre of Port Craig staying in the DOC Hut with a varied group of international travellers and enjoying freshly shot venison
The Borland road took us in to the back and beyond of Lake Manapouri's South Arm where we enjoyed a few nights in the middle of nowhere with two excellent walks and a cycle ride down to the shoreline.

Manapouri itself provided the starting point for the full day over to Doubtful Sound via the West Arm power station which was a fascinating experience being located substantially underground. Heavy rain the night before had cleared to bright sunshine so we enjoyed a perfect day before returning to the quirky camp site with its motley collection of ageing Morris Minors,
After a lazy day on the shore of Lake Te Anau we headed over to the Hollyford or Gunn Camp a former Ministry of Works labour camp that is now run as a camp site with the old workers cabin's providing other accommodation. The fascinating museum houses a remarkable collection of artefacts relating to the history of the area and the Gunn family who were and are closely associated with both the camp and the Hollyford Valley.
A ten hour walk took us up to the Harris Saddle returning along the best section of the Routeburn to Howden Hut and Lake before dropping back to the camp.
Finally today we enjoyed the drive over to Milford and a sun drenched cruise on the Sound where due to the recent dry weather the waterfalls were less dramatic but the towering mountains more so.

We are now in a chalet in Te Anau so Sarah can ring Carolyn on her 50th before heading to the Mavora Lakes for more walking if the weather holds.

Photos at the link - next estimated update will be in a fortnight when we return to Ashburton prior to Sarah's ride at Hurunui.