10 Days in Fiordland

Back from our 10 days mainly in Fiordland NZ marred somewhat by Della dislocating her shoulder in a fall from a rock. This led to the best helicopter ride ever, not enjoyed as much as it might have been however.

We encountered this rock face about a quarter hour up the track from Supper Cove towards Loch Marie just after you cross the Hilda Burn:

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This was the rock: marked ( in 2012) ‘Della’s Rock’.

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It involved a steep (@8′) climb up and then a couple of steps along to the right.

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When you got to the top, you had to balance along the top.

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I was standing at the left hand side herewith my hand held out to steady her. She took one step forward from the tree roots (right) and slipped, just missing my hand. Down she went.

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She slipped and fell back down catching her hiking pole which was attached to her wrist in the tree roots effectively hanging herself and dislocating her shoulder. Very nasty.

The reason she slipped (I later discovered) was that she had a twig caught up in the tread of the sole of her boot so that it acted like an ice skate.

I had been carrying an elastic bandage and a sling (neither of which had I ever used) as well as anti-inflammatories and Panadeine Forte for nigh on thirty years. I used all of these pretty quickly that day. I imagined she had a broken arm. If I could I wanted to get her back to the helipad which was about a kilometre back on a relatively flat path with (unfortunately) one stream crossing for which she would not be able to use the walkwire. We were (fortunately) able to wade it downstream (which I knew we could).

After only a couple of hours at Supper Cove we were flying out on the helicopter again! The pilot had not even had time to finish a cup of tea!

The track has now been diverted around this rock obstacle. It is just near where i have made a side track down to the water so you can easily cross Supper Cove at low tide and avoid an unpleasant hour’s walk. Still there are many spots where you can come to grief if you are not careful – or if you are unlucky.

During those few minutes at Supper Cove she did manage to take some beautiful photos though:

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View from the verandah of the Supper Cove Hut. Note moose browse on fuschia right below in 2009.



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Looking down the fiord from the boat shed.

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Looking up the fiord across the Seaforth mouth.

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And across towards Duncan’s seat (where folk once explored for precious metals).

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Near the boatshed, the Dusky Track begins…

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So much beauty.

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Looking up the Hilda Burn.

I plan to take her back one day, hopefully to walk at least one half of the track – perhaps the section Supper Cove – Hauroko. We have been back (twice) to walk the South Coast Track – highly recommended) Originally published 24 April 2011. Revised 4 August 2016. Unfortunately it will not be 2017 – as she has developed angina! So many mishaps, poor lass!

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2 thoughts on “10 Days in Fiordland”

  1. Love all your commentary on Fiordlands, Dusky Track, etc. So sorry to hear about your wife. Lesson to be learned: never hike through/over tough spots with your straps around the wrists. Many a skier has also learned this lesson!

    1. Thanks Karen, I was very sorry I placed the <1mm dyneema cord and micro cord locks on the ends of her poles so she could take photos without dropping them – also handy when you are crossing walk-wires etc! She is good again now – we have just returned from the EBC! Cheers, Steve.

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