Remote Remoteness – Into the Camelot

“On a Mish” #267 Into the Camelot. Camelot River. Fiordland National Park. 18.8.2018. The power of Fiordland is incredible. From its rain soaked weather, to its unmatched untouched beauty. Any visit will leave you craving for more, and no matter how many times you go there you are always looking forward to your next visit. Each part of the park has its own unique features. In the South there are rolling hills which flatten slightly before hitting the sea at Foveaux Strait. To the north are the giants of the park, grouped together with the mighty Darran Mountains standing tallest of all. Deep valleys with rivers of perfectly transparent water flow into lakes or the sea. And the numerous rare New Zealand birds sing happily amongst the trees in the densely forested evergreen landscape. For me, the more remote the better, and the Camelot River fits the description perfectly. Tucked away in a small corner of Kaikiekie / Bradshaw Sound, the river is almost greedy with its beauty. The lush greens of the West Fiordland forest drop down to the slow moving tranquility of one of the national park’s most pristine rivers…

Since I joined the Navigator team mid season, I missed out on the shenanigans of the early season training time. A couple of weeks cruising the fiord learning / having fun, is a great way to kick the season off. It was during this time that the team was starting to get information overload, so our thoughtful skipper came up with the insanely genius idea of dropping the crew off at the Camelot River for a paddle in the boat’s kayaks. With the Rolling Stones cranking on the Navigator’s speakers, we charged our way up Kaikiekie / Bradshaw Sound with the excitement of adventure building. We rounded the corner into Gaer Arm, and the undisturbed water made for a scene that will never be forgotten. It was now early evening and because daylight was beginning to disappear we were not messing about, and got into the boats ASAP.

Kaikiekie / Bradshaw Sound

Now buzzing with excitement, we boarded our small crafts for our journey into seldom seen scenery. The width of the Camelot River means the flow isn’t hard to paddle against, and as we pushed on we lost sight of the Navigator waiting patiently for us back in Gaer Arm. Lush rainforest lines both sides of the river, and as we drifted along we marveled at the early explorers who bashed their way through this tough tiger country. We could only make it as far as the first set of rapids, but this was easily far enough. Now with the flow of the river, we headed back to the Navigator with the sweet cleanse of nature flowing through us just like the Camelot River flows through this remote part of planet earth. We got back to the boat just as darkness began to settle in for the night. We were only gone about an hour, but it was an hour in some of the most stunning natural beauty the Universe has to offer. Once back onboard the boat the crew was a little bit deflated after getting blasted with beauty, and after a good feed we retreated to our thoughts of our adventure in our own private paradise!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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