Lewis Pass tramping

Here are a few photos from our Christmas holiday. As often at this time of the year, the weather wasn’t great and we only got 4 and a half days of tramping out of our 12 day holiday.

We ended up spending most of the time in Nelson, doing small bits and pieces around our property.

Our 4 day walk was a loop through two valleys and over a saddle in Lake Sumner Forest Park. A bit off the beaten track, we only came across a couple of other people.

Hope Valley:

003 Hope Valley (400x300)

Most of the walk in the valley was over grassy river flats. Nice and easy.

Top Hope hot pools:

005 Hot pools (400x300)

A real luxury – a long hot soak in a couple of thermal pools, instead of the usual quick dip in a freezing cold mountain creek.

All this in beautiful bush next to a little clearing, which we had all to ourselves (apart from the sandflies of course…).

Track up Pussy Stream:

011 Hinauf im Pussy Stream (400x300)

A real wet boot day, walking up a stream bed with numerous crossings. Then up an incredibly steep slope, to the bush line. But the hard work was well worth it.

Views from the saddle:

013 Aussicht vom Sattel (400x300)013a Aussicht vom Sattel (400x300)

Doubful Valley:

016 Doubtful Valley (400x300)

Easy walking again down in the valley over grassy river flats.

Doubtful Hut:

017 Doubtful Hut (400x300)

Huts in the area are quite small, this is one of them. Glad that we didn’t stay there as it was very run down.

We could squeeze in another half day of walking, up Lewis Tops. It was very cold up there, with strong wind and quite unpleasant. Nice views though:

021 Tarn und Berge auf Lewis Tops (400x300)024 Blick von Lewis Tops (400x300)

That was our holiday!

Christmas holidays

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.

002 Blick vom Wassertaxi in die Berge

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.

004 Sabine River

In the Upper Sabine Valley, the forest slowly retreats and we walked over open Tussock slopes with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

017 Sabine Valley Berge und wandernder Gregor

Far up the valley is Blue Lake, the world’s clearest freshwater.

021 Blue Lake

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.

024 Lake Constance

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.

032 Ich beim Trinken

The last bit up to the pass was a bit of a climb and really steep.

034 Gregor beim Aufstieg zum Moss Pass

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.

037 Gregor beim Suppe kochen auf Moss Pass

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 D’Urville Valley.

058 Blick weiter rauf ins Tal

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 D’Urville 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.

065 DUrville River

Then back to civilisation, a hot shower and fish & chips.

070 Gregor im Wassertaxi auf dem Weg zurueckThe 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.

071 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.

078 Split Apple Rock

The views from the Cable Bay walkway weren’t bad either.

085b View from Cable Bay Walkway

And here’s Nelson, seen from the Centre of New Zealand.

088 Blick auf Nelson von Centre of NZ