Everyday is Different (Part Two) – The Humpridge Track

“On a Mish” #98 Everyday is Different – Part Two. The Humpridge Track. Fiordland National Park. 26.4.2011. Even though I only worked on the Humpridge Track for a couple of years, I still saw the numbers increase as the word spread about an adventure on offer on the South Island’s rugged south coast. The variety seen in the three days of hiking is hard to beat, and this is accompanied with very comfortable lodges with many treats from the outside world available to purchase…

Nowadays my mother is a seasoned hiker with many adventures under her belt, but back in 2011 she wasn’t as keen as she would be these days to go for a walk in the rain. We enjoyed the shelter in the forest as we wandered towards the coast, then we descended a staircase that would become the track’s last real challenge in three days’ time. Once on the beach we felt the full fury of a Southland southerly and this kept the pace up as we trekked over the sand on Te Waewae Bay. A boggy 4wd track was tricky to navigate but we somehow pushed through without taking too much of the mud with us. We finally found shelter in the forests that hug the western corner of the huge bay, and not long after we went deeper into the bush and the sound of the crashing waves was replaced by the call of the native birds. We stopped for lunch in the small shelter at the base of the hill that would be the afternoon’s upward challenge and we rested as was advised back in Tuatapere. By the time you reach the shelter you have hiked about ¾ of the overall distance of the first day, however the last quarter is one that tests the training you put in before beginning your Humpridge Track adventure. We slowly plodded up the mountain with the Km makers offering some motivational assistance, although I would question the distances between some of the so-called ‘Kilometres’.

We finally broke through the bush and were on the home straight to the lodge, which on this track is an amazing network of boardwalks in the sky. The alpine setting was reinforced by the fact that we were hiking in the clouds, clouds with a silver lining in the form of face-stinging hail. We gave the loop-track above the lodge a miss as we could barely see ten feet, plus the thought of sitting down was very alluring after our big first day out. After arriving at the lodge we got a chance to dry off and relax, well at least I could as my parents‘ bags hadn’t arrived yet. My parents had taken the very good option of having their hiking backpacks choppered up to the first lodge to save the weight on your back as you tackle the climb up to Okaka Lodge. However if it is too cloudy for the chopper to fly the option doesn’t seem as good as it did back in civilization…

The Track Burn Bog

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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