Mavora Mountain Magic (Part One) – Mt Campbell(1685m)

“On a Mish” #146 Mavora Mountain Magic (Part One) – Mt Campbell(1685m). Mavora Lakes Conservation Park. 23.3.2019. Forget social media, if I’m stuck with a little bit of time on my hands I’m scrolling through topo maps on my phone. Strange to think I have spent countless hours looking at altitude lines and names of features all over the South Island of New Zealand. As I look I start to plan future trips. Sometimes it might be years before I reach the destination, but the location will stay locked in the memory vault until the time is right…

After a team building session / feed and wines at Walter Peak High Country Station I became fascinated with the surrounding area. A climb of Cecil Peak(1978m) revealed the many mighty mountains in the locality, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I headed there for a mish.

Mount Campbell(1685m) is the peak which stands tall between the Mavora Lakes to the west, and the Oreti / Von Rivers to the east. With the mountain sitting at the southern end of the Thompson Range, I was positive I was going to get some awesome views of the Mavora Lakes, and also the impressive surrounding mountains.

I left my house in Te Anau after lunch with a plan to camp on the side of the mountain, then go for the summit early-ish the next day. I drove through the near empty Mavora Lakes campground to the start of the track to Careys Hut, and got into mountain mode.

North Mavora Lake

The weather forecast had left me a little bit apprehensive, as there was the mention of rain for the next couple of days. For now this wasn’t a problem, and I enjoyed the stroll towards my unknown but planned destination.

I walked to the end of the beautiful beech forest section of the track, turned right and headed uphill to a small creek just above 1000m on the west face of Mt Campbell(1685m). As I gained altitude I could see more and more of the lake and its surroundings. The elevation reinforced the fact that coming here was a good idea, and with the motivation of more views, I climbed higher up the side of Mt Campbell(1685m).

I can be quite fussy when picking the perfect tent site, and as some afternoon showers arrived, I quickly erected the tent to hide from the rain. After the showers had passed I assessed the site, and decided to relocate to another spot about 500 meters away. I was finally satisfied with Mt Campbell Base Camp.

Close to the forest and also high enough to get great views of North Mavora Lake. I spent the rest of the afternoon collecting firewood, and then as evening rolled around I started thinking about a feed. I cooked up a grand meal for a grand place, and I had a grandstand view of it all…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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