Soooooooooo. I've been sitting on these photos for a month or so now. While Romaric was in NZ I headed down to the southisland with him and Bastien for a spot of tramping. I'd planned a trip around Hokitika to visit some remote Westcoast huts. The weather forecast looked a bit dodgy for the middle of our trip and Romaric started fretting about getting stuck in a hut with me and Bastien. Instead, we headed up the Matiri Valley, north of Murchison. The trip went roughly like this; (A map of the trip with the GPS tracks is included in the album of photos for day one.)
Day one: Walked in the Lake Matiri Hut, meet a bunch of bat watchers. Romaric discovered that the Matiri Valley is one of the few places in NZ where trout were never introduced.
Day two: Headed up the Matiri Valley a short distance then took the track the climbs on to the 1000 acre plateau. Cloudy at first, good views across the plateau later in the day. Lunch at Poor Pete's Hut (interesting but rather grotty), arrived at Larakin Hut about 3pm, climbed up to the ridge/saddle between The Needle and Haystack. Excellent views into the adjacent valley, and across the 100 and 1000 acre plateaux.
Day three: Climbed back up to the Needle/Haystack ridge and dropped down/traversed across the top of the adjacent valley. Followed the ridge north of Haystack and then dropped off the side and bush-bashed towards the track to Hurricane Hut. Got caught by bluffs twice. Thick forest, steep slopes. Hurricane Hut track is in an excellent location.
Day four: Headed back down the Matiri Valley to McConchies Hut. Track undulated along above/besides the river. Closer to the hut this got a bit tedious so we traveled down the river for the last km or so. Arrived at the hut in time for a late lunch, just as heavy rain started. Rain all night. RAIN!
Day five: Less rain, but still an awful lot of it. River was well up. Tried to carry on down the valley towards Lake Matiri hut but got stopped by a flooded side creek after 30 mins walk. By this time we'd been though waist deep (slow) water already. Back to the hut, eating, eating, eating and drying clothes.
Day Six: Clear skies. Headed down the river, past Lake Matiri hut and in to Murchison for lunch. Fush'n'chups. Dinner in Nelson.
Day seven: Wandered around Nelson, then headed back to Picton and onto the Ferry.