Into the Unknown – Duncans Stream Camp (Part Two)

“A Mish a Day” #157 Duncans Stream / Molesworth Station – Part Two. St James Conservation Area. 23.8.2020. The ease of access to epic environments is excellent in Aotearoa, especially in the South Island. Ocean, alps, lakes and rivers, all waiting for the motivated adventurer. Knowing it’s there is frustrating when you can’t reach it due to physical restraints like an injury. Luckily for me my cousin saved the day by getting me into the wild in style in the passenger seat of his Suzuki Jimny…

Seeing my breath hanging in the cool air reminded me where I was, and this instantly put a smile on my face. An early-ish start the next day had us on the road heading into the massive Molesworth Station, and over the alpine pass, Island Saddle(1350m). No locked gates yet, so we continued to climb higher towards the alpine pass. Everything from here was a bonus as we both figured the road would be closed due to winter conditions. A stop on the top of the pass was a must, and it was so good to smell the alpine air, and get the familiar and fantastic feeling of being in the mountains again. The crunch of snow underfoot was a sweet feeling I had missed so much, and it was safe to say my smile could only get bigger if I tore the edges of my mouth open like the Joker in Batman! Of the missions we had been on so far, this was easily the highest point we had got to.

View From Island Saddle

We pushed on over the saddle into the Marlborough Region, getting to Sedgemere Lake and the huts available to the public there. This place is very remote but can be accessed by 4wd. Which makes it perfect for those who can’t tackle a long walk to get into the wild. From the huts we continued north to the southern reaches of Rainbow Station at Coldwater Stream Campsite. It was here our progress north was finally stopped by a locked gate. So, very satisfied with the ground we had covered, we turned around and started the epic task of backtracking our way back to Hanmer Springs. As we began to head home we could see the nor’west rain beginning to swallow the mountains in the north, and with the first drips on the windscreen we knew we had used every second of fine weather on offer very, very well. With the satisfaction of the mish sinking in, we hit the concrete of civilization in Hanmer Springs and began to discuss the next adventure on the drive back to Christchurch

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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