Well, one major one. My intention had been to slowly walk the Hollyford, spend a few nights at Big Bay Hut then tootle around the Pyke Big Bay Route on the return. That sounded a reasonable plan but there is one major issue: the Pyke is not a tootle, there’s just the one hut and its 7 to 10 hours from here, Lake Alabaster to the Olivine Hut, and then DOC says it is 10 to 14 hours to the Big Bay Hut.

On the positive side of the ledger there hasn’t been rain for a long while, more than a week and the river water levels are low. There’s not many people use this route although it was re-marked in February this year, another major plus.

Lake Alabaster is seriously low, there’s a few tide marks going 4 m up from the current lake level, but as far as you can see, not far at all, maybe the first kilometre, there’s gravel exposed so that’s great.

It makes major sense to do this potentially boggy, or flooding, Pyke stuff now because the next two days will be okay according to the few days old long-range weather forecast. No flooded rivers which can trap you on the wrong side if that forecast is not exactly true.

The only negative is the large pack containing 12 days’ food which will be awkward with windfalls, I’ve already had a few major ones to content with.

Unless it’s raining in the morning, and there hasn’t been a cloud sighted today, I’ll be up early and away, making full use of the 13 hours of daylight currently on offer. A degree of bush bashing required, quite the difference from the fully benched track that extends all the way to this hut on the Hollyford. It’s been a joy to tramp along, the occasional opportunity to drop off the track to the river and get views of the Darran Mountains, not much in the way of climbing although there was a short uphill to get to the top of the Little Homer Saddle, a big 168 m, my lowest “saddle” ever conquered.

So, an early night tonight, I should be on my lonesome, and an early start tomorrow.

This really will be another Little Adventure.

← Day 1 | Hidden Falls Hut, Hollyford Track, Fiordland National Park Day 3 | Olivine Hut, Pyke Big Bay Route, Pyke Forest Conservation Area →