Following all of the Rules (Part Two) – Post Office Point Camp

“On a Mish” #297 Following all of the Rules (Part Two). Post Office Point. Fiordland National Park. 3.9.2021. There are some very good reasons why the property prices in Te Anau and Manapouri weren’t massively affected by the global pandemic. Some properties actually increased in value. You would think that two places with very strong ties to our tourism industry would see some sort of housing price slump, but luckily for us we have Fiordland right on our back doorstep and it will take more than a global pandemic to affect the stunning beauty that is one of the last ‘Lost Worlds’ – a lost world which I enjoy exploring as often as possible (when I am allowed)…

We (the locals of Te Anau and Manapouri) are extremely fortunate to be able to look at some of New Zealand’s most beautiful wilderness from the comfort of our own homes. Along with mighty Lake Te Anau (New Zealand’s biggest body of water), we also have the near endless mountains of Fiordland. But sometimes looking just isn’t enough, and as soon as we changed from level 4 lockdown to level 3 I did everything I could to follow the rules set by our government, and headed into the outskirts of the massive national park.

A slow steady pace took me from a very unassuming roadside parking spot to the stunningly scenic shores of Lake Manapouri at Post Office Point. My timing couldn’t have been better as the evening sunlight was glistening off the still water, making a sight that would have put a smile on a face without a mouth! I felt like the luckiest person on the planet.

The hike had left me a little bit sore, however the location was working its magic and the pain could wait.

I began to sort out a camping spot amongst the rocks, scrub and thin forest on the lake’s edge. After sorting out my tent I got ready to chill out in the afternoon, and that is when I realised I had left the bag containing my food and cooking gas on the backseat of my car! I knew I should’ve thrown it into my pack straight away!

As it was now past 5pm I had to make a choice. I either quickly head back to the car to retrieve the vital food, or survive on my emergency rations of a couple of muesli bars. The thought of starting the next day without a lakeside coffee was enough to get me back on the track towards my car.

Taking only the essentials like an extra layer and water, I began the hike back through the forest and before I knew it I was there. That was the easy part as on the way back the light was fading fast and the track markers were getting harder to spot. My first glimpse of the shores of the lake was very reassuring and relieving. Luckily I got back just as the sun beamed its final lick of light. The orange hue blending into the mountains at the western end of the lake was very special and a sight that will be etched into my brain as fuel for future missions.

Early-ish the next morning I was up to see an excellent sunrise complemented with a glorious and well earned cup of coffee! After the best start to my day I began to pack up my gear and ready myself for the hike back to the car.

Once again I was a lot slower with my big pack on, but I wasn’t in a hurry as I was really enjoying the melodies of the busy birdlife in the area. Tui, Kereru, Piwakawaka and Miromiro were singing like a finely turned native bird choir. The outstanding bird numbers are thanks to the trapping work that has been undertaken in the area.

I got back to my car after about 50 minutes of easy walking / limping, and as I began the ten minute drive back to Te Anau I could feel the satisfaction beginning to flow through my body and mind.

Whilst out on my mish I believe that I followed all of the rules, and I can confirm that my bubble of one didn’t get anywhere near any other bubbles. Plus exercise and relaxation are a must for my mental health. I can confirm that after getting back to my home in Te Anau I felt bloody awesome and the pain in my hip was temporarily overshadowed by the satisfaction of an adventure into the outskirts of Te Anau / Manapouri’s big backyard!

Sunrise on Lake Manapouri

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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