Wednesday, December 28, 2011

St Arnaud to Boyle River - with some minor road detours (day 97 to day 102)

 Although we had reasonably good weather through most of Richmond Forest Park, heavy rain in the Nelson Lakes National Park over the last two weeks, had taken out a number of bridges and damaged some of the tracks, but more frustrating for me, it had dumped more snow on the Waiau Pass. Even under normal spring conditions, the Waiau Pass is marginal for solo trampers in November and with the recent cold southerlies, the snow was just not melting fast enough (as an idea how cold it still was - Lake Angelus was still frozen over, not very common for November). So, on the advice of DOC and local experts, I decided to detour down the Rainbow Valley, through Sedgemere, over the Malling Pass and join the Waiau River (and the Te Araroa trail again) just downstream from the Waiau Pass.

Walking through Molesworth Station

This proved to be a splendid alternative. It was a bit longer (just over 129 km in six days) but it gave me the opportunity to travel through both the Rainbow Station and Molesworth Stations, and see new parts of the South Island backcountry that I had not seen before. It was also quite refreshing (dare I say) to walk on flats roads again, even if they were only metal roads. There was next to no traffic at all. 

Lake Sledgemere after a clearing storm
I loved the areas around Lake Sedgemere and Lake Tennyson, and the Island Saddle at 1347 m, is the highest public road in New Zealand. It's big country, lots of wide open space and beautful vistas.

No comments:

Post a Comment