Blue Ducks & Banter – Part Two

“On a Mish” #315 Blue Ducks and Banter – Part Two. Monkey Creek. Fiordland National Park. 28.12.2021. I often stress to people how important it is to take your time when travelling to Piopiotahi / Milford Sound. The road runs through some of the most scenic terrain on the planet and unfortunately many people have a full on schedule which means they can’t stop to smell the flowers. Being a wild and remote place means that, not only is there an incredibly harsh mountainous environment to look at, but the place is also home to some of the rarest and coolest animals on earth. Many people get to have an encounter with the only alpine parrot on the planet from the comfort of their car…

With plan A just leaving us with wet feet we had to think of a plan B, and luckily in the Darran Mountains epic scenery is everywhere. Not wanting to leave the Upper Hollyford Valley, I decided a mission up Monkey Creek would be an excellent plan B. I had been on a mish here a few years ago and remember it being nothing but spectacular. However on that mission I wasn’t broken, and my girlfriend at the time and I had got right up into the upper valley. That wasn’t going to happen this time, but I did catch a glimpse of a possible camping spot up the lower reaches of Monkey Creek.

We pulled over at the Monkey Creek car park, that pre-Covid would never be empty and usually have at least three dozen people wandering around admiring the stunning view. We readied ourselves for battle (again) and with the water of the Hollyford River still sloshing around in our boots we began our plan B. We came across an area of forest covered in rocks and debris from where the river had burst its banks back in the February 2020 storm. The poor forest had taken a beating and now in places the river flowed amongst the trees. We pushed up into the forest until we came to a point where the river became a gorge, with rapids and waterfalls. Thanks to the floods there was a level area on the riverbed just begging to have a couple of tents pitched on it. We had found our plan B…

The Spectacular Upper Hollyford Valley

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter