11 March 2013

New Zealand Feb 2012 - Dusky Track Days 1, 2 & 3

New Zealand Feb 2012 - Dusky Track - Days 1, 2 & 3 Lake Hauroko to Lake Roe Hut

Tripod HillDusky Track is an six to nine day 50km walk in one of the most beautiful and remote parts of New Zealand. Tough walking, at times very tough, and very prone to flooding - expect a week of wet boots - but well rewarded.
Below is the profile elevation of the Dusky Track tramp, excluding the following side trips that we did, which were:

  1. Tamatea Peak (well, the adjacent Peak 1595), 720m above Lake Roe Hut
  2. Supper Cove (22km round trip) day trip from Loch Maree hut. A mixture of the best and the worst terrain on the whole trip
  3. Mt Memphis, 400m climb from Centre Pass. A glorious 2 hr ('cos of the bathing in the tarn) side trip.
Dusky Track Elevation Profile
The day stayover at Lake Roe Hut (due to inclement weather, and a desire to see the alpine tops in some sunshine), and the day trip to Supper Cove from Loch Maree Hut, meant that we had two extra nights to the five (we didn't overnight at either end) made for a seven night/eight day tramp.
I would recommend that you budget yourself eight days, and great weather might grant you an early mark. Many trampers do do the track in six days.

Day 1
Trackhead - drop off at Lake Hauroko Hut

Following the standard route (Lake Hauroko to Lake Manapouri, with a side trip to Supper Cove at the top of Dusky Sound) we were dropped by charter boat at Lake Hauroko Hut. The first day is quite a comfortable tramp through undulating beech forest, climbing only about 160m. About 3-4 hours takes you to Halfway Hut.
Day 2
View from Halfway Hut The second day, from Halfway Hut to Lake Roe Hut, climbs 550m over 6.5km. The track gets wetter and muddier in spots, as it continues to climb up adjacent to Hauroko Burn. By the time we reached the saddle at the top of the burn, a cold front had blown in, and - even though we were only at 820m elevation - conditions got very cold very quickly.
Day 3
"We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it's forever." - Carl SaganThe weather clapped out on day 3, so we stayed put in the hope that we'd get better weather for seeing the tops the following day. Lots of card playing occurred as all eight trampers who had started at Hauroko Hut two days ago squeezed in with a group of six doing some field work with Rock Robins
On to Day 4 and Tamatea Peak.
More photos at Andrew's flickr pages.
As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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