‘The first tramp…’

Trip Start Jul 18, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, August 23, 2010

This morning I manage to lie in until 9:30, between the chaos of mum and Jenny leaving early for the Doubtful Sounds trip and questions about missing frying pans it wasn’t easy.  Finally up and showered and Helen comes back from a wander around Te Anau with news of a local 3-hour tramp through woods to a lake (yes another, but I can’t get enough, clearly).  We are going just outside Te Anau to Kepler Track which actually comprises of a 3-day tramp, but there is a 90 minute in track to one of the lodges.  The beginning of the track takes us to a swing bridge, which is quite like walking on marshmallow it’s so bouncy! At this point Helen and I are glad mum didn’t come, she wouldn’t have made the first part!  The view of the river is stunning, set against the distant snowy hilltops.  The forest is equally amazing, like a fairytale, with light spilling through the leaves onto the mossy ground.  One thing I love the most about NZ is the DOC’s presence.  Like the Kauri forest, trees that fall are left to naturally decompose.  Here they are enveloped by the incredibly lime green moss.  We seem to keep catching the perfect weather systems here.  The lighting today is so fantastic through the woods.  We climb a steep, winding path to look out onto the river, but quickly get back to the path safety when we realise we’re stood on an overhang of earth about 200meters up from the river!  Onwards through the trees and we notice that the surroundings switch from forest, to rainforest very quickly.  Along the 90 minute walk, we come across an American guy and an Irish couple… that’s it!  We decided to take the Bay route, there’s a river route too, and 20-ish minutes later we arrive at the DOC tramp lodge.  Through the trees we can see glimpses of the bay.  But nothing could prepare us for the actual full-view through the trees.  It’s perfect, just perfect.  We’re the only people here.  Not a sound to be heard.  It’s amazing, to have such unbelievable picturesque views, and no one around!  Everything about this place is amazing, and really calming.  I really have learnt the true meaning of the phrase awe-inspiring in the last couple of days.  Unfortunately, a million sand flies have decided to join us… so we set off begrudgingly.  The camp was interesting to see though, $6 at peak summer, and free in the winter to stay in… a definite must for my next trip here.  On the drive back, I stop at Lake Te Anau for a few shots on ‘Sunset’ mode… my camera is fairly new and I haven’t played with it much.  We get back to the camper for a beautiful pink sunset.  Mum and Jenny arrive back with beautiful shots of Doubtful and stories of their fellow passengers.  There’s a short-film on tonight in Te Anau town showing aerials of Fjorland,  I have days to write and post so stay in whilst Helen plays patience.  Mum and Jen have gone out and will pick dinner up on the way home, hopefully.  Tomorrow we are departing back up North to Mount Cook where we will stop for the night before making our way back to Rakaia for a few days.

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