Following All of the Rules – Part Two

“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. 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’…

We (the locals of Te Anau and Manapouri) are extremely fortunate to be able to look at New Zealand’s wilderness wonder from the comfort of our own homes. But sometimes looking just isn’t enough, and as soon as we changed from level 4 lockdown to level 3 I headed into the outskirts of the massive national park. A slow steady pace got me to the shores of Lake Manapouri at Post Office Point, and as the sunlight glistened off the still water I felt like the luckiest person on the planet. A little sore, I began to sort out a camping spot amongst the 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 a bag containing my food and cooking gas on the backseat of my car. Ironically as I threw the bag on the backseat I told myself I should probably put the bag into my pack straight away. Unfortunately excitement blurred the sensible part of my mind and the ‘LETS GO’ part took over. It just wouldn’t be a Marky / NzHikes mish without some sort of drama! As it was now past 5pm I had to make a choice quickly if I was going to head back to the car to retrieve the vital equipment and food. 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 lightest essentials I began the hike back and before I knew it I was there. Without a pack I could move a lot quicker, and I managed to get back to camp just on sunset. The sun setting into the mountains west of the lake was very special and a sight that will be etched into my brain as fuel for the next mission. After dark I eventually retreated to the warmth of my sleeping bag, and drifted off to sleep to the sounds of the seagulls in the area. SEAGULLS?! A flock of rare Black-billed Gulls visit Manapouri around this time each year, and their party went on well into the night.

Early-ish the next morning I was up to see an excellent sunrise complemented with a glorious 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 and I enjoyed 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. As I said at the start, I looked to follow all of the level 3 guidelines and if I inadvertently did something wrong I am very sorry. I can confirm that my bubble of one didn’t get anywhere near any other bubbles, and the 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 easily overshadowed by the satisfaction of an adventure into the outskirts of Fiordland National Park.

Sunrise on Lake Manapouri

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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