Circling the Serenity – Around Lake MacKenzie

“On a Mish” #353 Circling the Serenity. Lake Mackenzie. Fiordland National Park. 2.5.2012. I always remember as a kid we did a test to see what type of learners we are. The test also revealed who has trouble sitting still in class. The results – I learn better while doing and I definitely have trouble sitting still! Now a couple of years later the need to be on the move hasn’t changed and when I began a sweet gig as the Lake MacKenzie (building site) Lodge Manager I knew I had an awesome backyard to go explore in my down times…

After the guided walk season had finished the building / upgrade of the lodge began. My role was to make sure the builders were fed and that the lodge didn’t burn down. This meant my work was usually a busy morning making breakfast for the team, then a break. After the morning break I would normally make lunch and do odd jobs before the final job of the day, dinner. The role was awesome and the mountainous location meant I had some epic spare time missions.

One day I decided to see if I could circumnavigate the lake without getting my feet wet and after nailing another brilliant breakfast I set off. The air was still and cool, the sky was clear and adventure was hanging thick in the air. I hit the track from the lodge to where it joins the Routeburn Track and I followed it until I got to the rocky rubble at the southern end of the lake. It was a bit of a scramble to clamber over the jumble of massive rocks and some were covered in a mass of slippery moss.

Sunrise from Lake MacKenzie Lodge

Eventually I navigated the boulder field and got onto the western side of the lake, which was awesome as this side sees very few people and offered unique views. Due to the lake being low I could easily hike the gravel beaches all the way to the northern end of the lake. This end of the lake is the way to the rugged alpine adventure of Emily Pass(1607m). The famous Routeburn shortcut / mountain pass will definitely be a mission for another day, but for now I had to complete my current mish getting around the visually stunning Lake Mackenzie.

Now on the tracked side of the lake I could fly though the forest back to the lodge, however as I still had a little bit of time left I decided to scramble up an old rockslide to get an elevated view of the lake. After my side trip I realised it was nearly lunchtime and I needed to be back at ‘work’. As it wandered the last stretch of track past the DoC campground and hut I took in the wild environment which reinforced how lucky I was to call it my workplace and also backyard while I lived at the lodge. The mish was over and super epic, so for now my challenge now was to make a feed just as epic. A tough task after my successful lap around the lake!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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