Dusky Track [Part A]

6-13 November 2017. Sandflies. Mud. Over twenty 3-wire bridges. Subject to frequent flooding. The Dusky Track is famous for all these. Strangely enough, it isn’t famous for spectacular scenery and interesting wildlife. It deserves to be!

We set out from Manapouri after overnight snowfalls to low levels. This unseasonably cold wet weather was forecast to continue for a week, with what looked like a “weather bomb” for the next day.

The track quickly lived up to its reputation.

Except for an all-to-brief respite on boardwalk near Upper Spey hut.

The next day we crossed into the Seaforth Valley over Centre Pass. A short break in the blizzard allowed me to take a photo of Sue descending from the pass.

Approaching Kintail Hut we got views of Gair Loch in the Seaforth Valley. Tripod Hill is on the left.

It snowed again that night to around 300m – conviently just above the elevation of the hut (260m). This offered lovely views the next morning.

The forests along the Seaforth River offered easy travel in places.

We spotted the rare whio (Blue Duck) on Gair Loch. Initially this group of four … then others. We counted 15 individuals – by far the largest paddling we’ve seen.

Further down the valley is Loch Maree, our destination for the day. Loch Maree was formed by a landslide. It can’t have been all that long ago as old tree stumps are visible in the lake.

Looking up the Seaforth from Loch Maree Hut.

Loch Maree Hut.

The next day we faced a long climb onto the Pleasant Range. See Part B of this blog…

[Posted 24 November 2017]