Sunday, March 20, 2011

Parrots, and rainforest, mist and mountains ~ the Milford Track

It's been a long time, my getting around to walking the Milford Track that traverses the northern end of Fiordland National Park. It's an icon - maybe that is why!

A close friend, a vet of many big mountain trips told me he'd found it harder than he thought it'd be. Well ditto Donald! Strange one really: underfoot the hundred years or whatever of tourism related development shows, so I figured it's the wildness of the environment might have something to do with the long days seeming longer than their actual time.

My trip really began in Invercargill, where I found my good friend Roger discussing his next photography book with Bill the 25yr old parrot...
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On Lake Te Anau heading to the Quentin River...
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I just love the clarity of a Fiordland river when it's not raining...
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Roger and Norman in Quentin Hut...
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Typical bush and river on the eastern side of the pass...
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Hidden Lakes...
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En-route up to McKinnon Pass the rain sets in...
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Mackinnon Pass was as wild as it gets with driving mist and rain...
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Serious rain sets in on the descent...
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Thankfully the whole group reached Dumpling Hut by 4 pm, and we're talking an inch of rain per hour at this stage of the day...#alttext#

Next day - the end day dawned fine as we walked in the bush mostly beside a dropping Arthur River...
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MacKay Falls really took my breath away...
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The Arthur River heads to the sea - sometimes quietly, sometimes very dynamically, but always scenically...
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By the end of the trip everyone has made a few friends...
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This rather quaint displacement hull vessel took us the ten minutes back to the tourist side of Milford Sound...
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4 Comments:

Blogger Bob McKerrow said...

Dear Donald

Thanks for taking me on a trip I did 45 years ago.

Your photographer, as ever, is a joy to view.

I did the Milford Track as a freedom march to break the Tourist Hotel corporation monopoly. We were members of the OTC&MC and half the party went in from the Eglinton Valley via Dore Pass and I was in a party that used Hut Creek as a gateway to the track. The Arthur river was floded so we used empty fuel drums dumped by the THC and made a raft out of them At Sandfly point, fishermen gladly ferried us to the other side as they were pleased someone had broken the THC stranglehold.

So Donald, so pleased you enjoyed it, and grateful for you taking me back to that very wet time, we freedom walkers won the right to walk free their own country tracks.

March 20, 2011 at 11:57 PM  
Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
Great to see some of the wonderful outdoors, the scenery and smiles that Nature can also bring to our worlds. A good reminder. I am starting to sniff the cool air and long for the mountains. Things are going really well and I keep gazing at my gear. A few more busy weeks to get through so enjoying a virtual trip here is bliss. Kia ora.
Cheers,
Robb

March 21, 2011 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Donald said...

Dear Robb

Nice to hear from you, and it sounds like all is going well since the changes you hinted at in one of your last posts.

Yes, a virtual trip or two is one way to encourage dreams and memories of those places we value so much.

Come to think of it we could probably all do with an increase in "dream time", a time to reflect above all else.

Cheers

Donald

March 30, 2011 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger Donald said...

Dear Bob

So you were one of that group that re-defined how this wonderful route should be used!

Well done, and when I ponder the Arthur river and how you got to be on the other side, I'm full of admiration as to how you not only got there, but how you got across. I used to know quite a few managers in THC too, and I think they would've had a smile or two as well!

However the route is such a profoundly good one, and with a mix of guided and 'independents' it's amazing how, walking it, you don't sense of encounter the crowd.

But do the sums of the cash flow day in and day out, for both groups over 'the season' and it sure is an income earner. I'd like to think that money gets allocated to projects in the area, but somehow I suspect this may not happen.

I hope to go back, and Dore Pass appeals. I think my dad went over it once, as he worked on the Homer Tunnel for a wee while. Actually nearly got buried by an avalanche: one came down while he was down the road at Cascade Creek in a truck, and when he returned he found his work mates were digging frantically to find him! Glad he made it, as it was before my time!

Cheers

Donald

March 30, 2011 at 9:18 PM  

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