Conflicting Reports (Part Two). Hakatere Conservation Park

“On a Mish” #374 Conflicting Reports (Part Two). Mt Hutt Range. Hakatere Conservation Park. 29.4.2023. A couple of times when exploring with my cousin in his truck we have asked for permission when we don’t really need to. It is better to know you are allowed to be somewhere than have a run-in with a fired up farmer or an outraged DoC worker. These days I have to be extra vigilant as I now go on missions with ten kgs of canine ‘terror’. So I now mainly look at the dog friendly locations / hunting blocks, found on the Department of Conservation website. After a recent adventure into the Mt Hutt Range it would appear that there would be some conditions found on the website and some epic views found at my campsite…

Carrying two bags (one at a time) to a campsite means I can take many creature comforts with me on my adventures. I might not be able to travel far, but I am very comfortable when I get there. This mish slightly different as I also had to carry creature comforts for my own little creature, who never offered to carry his own gear!

We began our short trek up the Scott Saddle Track and the late afternoon weather was putting on a show. I was in a race with the sun as it made its daily journey towards the hill ridges of the Mt Hutt Range. With the sun dropping closer to the point of disappearance I returned for my second bag after dropping the first at the top of the spur I had seen on the map.

Although only a short distance, my hip and back were suffering thanks to a recent trip to Te Anau. Oddly, the worst position for my hip is sitting and to get to and from Te Anau takes a lot of sitting. Even if it was taxing, I was enjoying stretching out my legs as well as the glorious scenery that surrounded me. The weather was perfect and both hound and human were exactly where they needed to be at that point in time. It was on my second trip that I felt the last of the day’s warmth, and then the light slowly began to fade to darkness in a rather pleasant point on the planet.

When I found the perfect spot I let Ernie go for the first time, and go he sure did! As soon as I released him he headed off down the steep spur as if he was on the scent of an animal. I have found that if I chase him it becomes a game of keep-away. I have to let him vanish out of sight with the hope that he doesn’t fall off a bluff and eventually return. It was as if he could sense my fear and frustration because a couple of minutes later he returned looking very guilty. To prevent the same thing happening again Ernie was tied to a bush while I set my campsite up amongst the alpine scrub at the top of the spur. The Canterbury Plains sure do look vast when viewed from a point of elevation.

Aurora on the Southern Horizon

A haze was hanging around the hills of Banks Peninsula and the Pacific, then it was almost endless farmland right up to the base of the foothills. I was right on the edge of the uplift and it was definitely an uplifting experience!

Both dog and slave of dog enjoyed dinner while waiting for the stars to begin to twinkle, and just before last light the first glimmer began to appear on the eastern sky. To the west the final glow of the sun burnt orange before red and then many shades of purple. If I had one I’d be constantly wagging my tail in approval as much as Ernie was!

By now I have had my fair share of recovery camps, and this one has to go down as one of the best. Ironically it would be well after finishing the mish that I would find out that the place I was with my dog involved short bursts on a track that (depending where you look) shouldn’t have little dogs wandering along it…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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