New Zealand

Shadowland – Fiordland Video

If you wonder why I return again & again to Fiordland (& the Dusky Track) maybe this excerpt from ‘Shadowland’ will whet your appetite. (Della’s favourite part, the kakapo @ 37secs in). You may have to buy the complete video as no-one seems to have uploaded it, but it will be worth it. Even more worthwhile is …

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NZ’s South Coast Track: Westies Hut to Cromarty:

After you have completed the wonderful journey on the South Coast Track from the Rarakau Car Park to the magical Westies Hut it is possible to continue the journey all the way to Puysegur Point Lighthouse, the Te Oneroa shelter and the ruins of the old mining town of Cromarty way out at Preservation Inlet …

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White Moose

Just as the ‘polar bear’ is only a ‘sport’ of the grizzly bear, so every now and then nature throws up another white creature better adapted to an environment of snow and ice like this white moose, one of about 100 such roaming the boreal forests of Sweden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JoHGwSdRak and so like the wonderful white …

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The Mountain Gnomad

This young Kiwi chap Arash Tahan contacted me recently about his plan to spend a couple of years tramping and hunting the South Island of New Zealand. What an admirable idea. If I was 40-50 years younger (and unattached) I can imagine doing so too, but I have had my own adventures and continue to …

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New Evidence of Fiordland Moose

Some time back I was contacted by a young journalist, Charlie Mitchell from Stuff, New Zealand. I helped him out as much as I could from my experiences. Over the last two days I have been thrilled to read and see what he has put together of the continued existence of this wonderful herd. There …

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The South Coast Track, Fiordland NZ:

Posted this day in 2014. (Oh, I wish I were there again. I am going to miss Fiordland this year. Hopefully I enjoy Scotland as much!) ‘The Fiordland South Coast Track is so much better than the similarly named South Coast Track in Tasmania. You can have a number of different trips there. What will …

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The Lure of the Moose:

O, the enchantments of Fiordland: Time and again I have been drawn back to this lush green Eden questing after one of these surviving prehistoric giants, which though sundered from their ancient homeland in the vast boreal forests of the North, still linger there today. For me it is a tale which began when I …

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South Coast Track Fiordland NZ: Waitutu to Westies:

I can’t believe it is two years ago we were there. Time for another trip. We have not seen Long Point, the Slaughter Burn, Big River…I was reminded of this by our jet boat pilot (Roffy) posting this on Facebook yesterday. The trip out to Westies is the journey of a lifetime. Do not be …

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NZ Moose

Ken & Marg Tustin have been hunting these beasts in Fiordland’s forests since the 1970’s. The creatures are enormously elusive. Of course there are lots of browse, prints, droppings but so far they have managed to come up with a single cast antler, two positive DNA samples and a couple of (unfortunately) poor quality photos …

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Dusky Track: Canoeing the Seaforth

Some folks are just downright suicidal, and sometimes I am one of them! In 2009 I had conceived a plan to be the first person (I think) to canoe the mighty remote Seaforth River in Fiordland NZ. I had a brand-new Alpacka ‘Fjord Explorer’ packraft (https://alpackarafts.com/product/fjord-explorer/) courtesy of Kevin Rudd’s bushfire compensation scheme following the …

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Wings and Water:

My favourite airline operates out of Te Anau Fiordland, New Zealand:  http://www.wingsandwater.co.nz/ I have flown in to or back from Supper Cove a number of times, so I have a collection of snaps which will maybe whet your appetite to the visual delights in store. It is almost impossible to take really good photos through …

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From Dawn to Dusky #7

You have a big climb and descent today: over a kilometre up and then down again from the Kintail Hut to the Upper Spey Hut. You don’t have to worry. Though it takes me longer now, I did this section in 2006 when I was a mere 58, the first time I walked over Centre …

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From Dawn to Dusky # 4 & 5

The trip to Supper Cove is a side trip taking two days – but really worth it! The walk up/down from Loch Marie to Supper Cove takes me 7-8 hours. I know you may be younger and in more of a hurry – who know why? Most of the distance is very pleasant, flat walking …

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From Dawn to Dusky #2:

If it took a little over 6 hours to walk from Hauroko to the Halfway Hut (as it did me this year – I was quicker seven years ago, no surprise), then it will take slightly longer to walk to Lake Roe Hut. Do not time yourself to arrive after dark. The hut would be …

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More Dusky Adventures:

I start on the track on Monday for ten days. As you travel to work on Monday, you can imagine me at the same time standing on the deck of a small boat (Namu) chugging across beautiful Lake Hauroko en route to the Dusky. Walking the track takes seven days, though if you are young …

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South Coast Track: A Walk in Fiordland

The last two years ago today, this is where we were. How I wish I was there again. Of course we can’t go this year because of Della’s sudden angina. Maybe the Dusky next year! What I said two years ago: ‘Home from the Waitutu Forest! More posts to follow. In brief, the South Coast …

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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 …

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A friend I met on the Dusky Track, Fiordland NZ

‘I was feeling a little down (due to some internet bullying), then a young friend rang to wish us ‘Seasons Greetings’ from Washington, which really brightened up my day! He is Steve Hutcheson a young American (29) I met on the Dusky Track, Fiordland NZ in 2012. At the time I had such a bad back …

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The Importance of a Roof:

Getting dry, staying dry, that’s what survival comes down to. Alan Remnant pilot and Owner of Wings on Water, Te Anau, Fiordland (http://www.wingsandwater.co.nz/) who has flown me in to Supper Cove so many times (one of the world’s greatest trips) tells me he has often had to ferry deceased hikers out of there too, folks …

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South Coast Track, Fiordland, NZ, Della’s Version:

Day one was totally passive, involving a jet boat ride over the beautiful Lake Hauroko and then helter-skelter down the fast-running Wairaurahiri River to the sea. There we stayed overnight in lovely wilderness accommodation and prepared our packs for the big walk ahead. Our jet boat waiting. Lake Hauroko was like a mill-pond: Lake Hauroko …

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