Over the next few postings I thought I’d do a bit of a ‘walk-through’ of a tramping trip I did back in February this year. When I look back through the collection of photos I captured on the trip, there’s probably not a single image I’d normally consider posting as generally they’re of crappy quality. But they do show a remote part of New Zealand that probably not many people get to see, so from that perspective I hope they are at least of some interest. Plus I’ll describe the various misadventures along the way, which are amusing to look back on now but some weren’t so hilarious at the time!
The trip is centred in the Ahuriri Conservation Park, which lies in an area generally between Lake Hawea and Lake Ohau (btw, I’ll geo-tag all photos). Our route was planned in detail by poring over topographical maps and coming up with something that would fit into five days / four nights. In the end we came up with a ~55 km route which started and ended in the Ahuriri River valley, at the Canyon Creek carpark. This carpark marks the end of the ~35 km dirt road from State Highway 8 – the last few kilometres require a 4WD. Most of the tramping route we chose was unmarked, untracked and remote, so we carried navigational gear (GPS etc) and an emergency locator beacon.
After completing a half day of work I traveled down from Christchurch and met up with my mate from Invercargill at the SH8 turnoff. By the time we made our way to Canyon Creek, finalised packing, and put our boots on, it wasn’t until about 8pm that we got underway. Thank goodness for long summer daylight hours! Our plan was to get about 2 hours walking under our belt, find a camp spot, and prepare for an epic day tomorrow.
This shot was taken at about 9 pm and looks straight up the Ahuriri Valley. Conditions were beautiful – a warm gentle breeze, with an air temperature probably around 20 degrees Celcius. The weather forecast over the next few days wasn’t quite as flash, but not enough to put us off. Our originally planned destination is marked as a note on the photo, however, failing light meant we didn’t quite get that far.
More to follow…