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Doing the Dusky Track

March 20, 2012

Looking fresh at the start

We had sun, rain, floods, sandflies, an earthquake, mud and more mud. The Dusky Track delivered true to Fiordland form – such a cliche to say it was full of extremes, but it was. Probably one of the hardest tramps I’ve done due to the conditions and length of days.

Last Monday Gemma and I set off in the rain, having almost not made it to the start of the track at the top of Lake Hauroko because of boat troubles. However, we were rescued by two good samaritans from Waimahaka (Brian and Bev) who graciously gave us a ride.

Our first day was the shortest walk, as we’d not set off till 1.30pm and decided to stop at Halfway Hut after 4 hours. In our aim to complete it in 5 days (normally done in 7) and get back to family and other commitments, every other day  was mostly 8 or 9 hours of tramping.

From Pleasant Range

Highlights included:

  • Going over Pleasant Range, past Lake Horizon, on day two with glorious weather and views into Dusky Sound and the surrounding mountains
  • Dumping our packs the next day and doing a day trip to Supper Cover, walking across the mudflats and then back to the hut
  • Our adventure getting to Kintail Hut on day 4, after heavy rain flooded the Seaforth River and the track with it. We had to swim a section and bush-bash above the valley floor for several hours to get away from the flood. I was awe-struck by the raging torrents of water everywhere, from the main river to the tributaries and overflowing swamps.
  • Being woken by an earthquake after midnight, which shook Kintail Hut and which we later found was a 5.2 Fiordland centred earthquake
  • Waking early and walking in the dark on the last morning -hearing kiwi calls- and watching the sun come up as we headed up the steep bush to Centre Pass.
  • Having a great companion

Here’s a few photos:

Waiting to cross flooded trib

Gemma on one of the numerous swingbridges



4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2012 11:38 pm

    Juliet this is amazing — I bet your parents were enthralled. You dad might have even been a bit jealous!

    • March 25, 2012 8:41 pm

      Thanks Nancy. Yeah, I think he was a bit jealous. Maybe you and Bruce should consider this track on your next visit -though probably no need to rush it like we did!

  2. harrison permalink
    July 11, 2015 5:01 am

    that looks like a nice walk
    how long was the walk?


  1. Kintail wik | Golneatr

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