Here are a few photos from my Christmas holidays. Finally!
Moss Pass (Nelson Lakes National Park)
This was a walk I had had on my personal to do list for quite a while. We set off in excellent weather, in fact I’ve never experienced such hot temperatures before when tramping in NZ.
The first leg was a ride in the water taxi across beautiful Lake Rotoroa.
Then it’s up the Sabine Valley. You’re never far from the Sabine River with lots of nice views of it. Unfortunately I was very tired that day and couldn’t quite enjoy it as much as I had hoped.
In the Upper Sabine Valley, the forest slowly retreats and we walked over open Tussock slopes with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
Far up the valley is Blue Lake, the world’s clearest freshwater.
It’s incredibly clear & clean, we drank straight from it and used the water to cook our dinner.
An hour further up is Lake Constance. It’s completely different and quite murky.
It’s also quite different to the European Lake Constance. In particular, there is no Friedrichshafen which is where Gregor is from.
With the weather still being very hot, we had a 5:45 start on the following day when we went over Moss Pass. Luckily, on the way there were a couple of opportunities for a cold drink.
The last bit up to the pass was a bit of a climb and really steep.
But the views up there on the pass! Absolutely awesome! Not a cloud in the sky in either direction, and just a light breeze. We didn’t even have to put on a jumper, it was that warm.
So we got out the cooker and had a hot Miso soup and a really long break.
The descent was rather dull though, 3 hours roots and rocks through what someone had described as the ‘evil forest’ in the hut book. The only highlight were a few Kea who watched us for a while.
Over the next day, the weather slowly deteriorated. We still had dry weather for our walk up the DUrville Valley.
However, shortly after we had reached the hut (a tiny two bunk bivvy) it began to rain. When it cleared up a little bit for a few hours on the next day, we made our way back down the valley. As it turned out just in time, because yet again the rain set in and there were quite a few big dumps over night.
We stayed put on the following day as the track had turned into a muddy stream and we didn’t know whether the creeks were still crossable.
It was the right decision, as it cleared up and the rivers came down overnight. The next day was still cloudy and grey, but it wasn’t raining anymore.
So it was a very pleasant walk down the DUrville valley, quite flat and frequently over grassy river flats.
You could still see the massive washouts the floods two years ago had caused though. The last bit back to the lake was a lot of up and down again to get around some very steep river banks.
Then back to civilisation, a hot shower and fish & chips.
The rest of the holiday
Unfortunately the weather continued to be crappy. We thought we could sit it out and do a little overnighter until conditions had improved again. So we drove further down South and spent a night in the hut at Lake Daniels.
It looked like it had been the right thing to do as the forecast then was quite promising for the last few days of our holidays. So we were all packed up and ready to tackle Mt Owen. But during the last 12 hours of what had been 8 days of bad weather there was such heavy rain that there was a little slip on the access road and a ford had become impassable.
This was very disappointing but there was nothing we could do but going back to Nelson. So we spent the last couple of days doing the tourist thing.
Here’s Split apple rock.
The views from the Cable Bay walkway weren’t bad either.
And here’s Nelson, seen from the Centre of New Zealand.