Birthday Dinner in the Darrans (Part Two) – Cleddau / Gulliver River

“On a Mish” #282 Birthday Dinner in the Darrans (Part Two). Cleddau / Gulliver River. Fiordland National Park. 8.6.2021. People chatting, glasses clinking and happy people drinking. This is what many think of when they think about their birthday party. I think of a slightly different experience that involves birds chirping, waterfalls trickling and myself drinking a glass of some of the cleanest water in the world. While most like a good party with friends I like to take the scenic approach…

Back in 2020 there was a storm. This storm was one of the wildest humans had ever seen in the Fiordland area. The destruction was immense and unfortunately Gunns Camp was destroyed by a massive landslide. Many bridges and parts of tracks were also washed into the rivers which grew in size and swallowed what was once an aid for navigating through the Fiordland Forest. As I stood in the Cleddau Valley I looked at another victim of the floods, and due to the old Cleddau River Bridge being a vital part of my mish I had to rethink my birthday dinner plans.

I slowly hauled my bag back up to my car and once there I started to look at maps. Almost immediately I saw the Grave / Talbot Route Track which makes its way into the Gulliver Valley. It was a track into the Darrans so it was still what I wanted and it was only a couple minutes drive from where I was. Soon I was at the start of plan B and ready to limp my way into the wild Fiordland Jungle.

Fueled by a palm full of painkillers and plenty of Deep Heat rub, I began to hike the rough track alongside the Gulliver River. The going was slow but I didn’t really have anywhere else to be and it was nice to be out on a mish in Fiordland again.

My plan was to find a spot big enough for my tent and maybe a small campfire, little did I know that that was much easier said than done…

Barrier Knob(1879m) and center is Gertrude Saddle(1410m) from the Gulliver River

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter