Right Place, Right Camp – Helena Falls Camp

“A Mish a Day” #110 Helena Falls Camp. Deep Cove, Fiordland National Park. 29.5.2018. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to not only work in Fiordland during the chilly winter months of 2018, but also live for long periods of time in Deep Cove on the Fiordland Navigator. Deep Cove is usually a quiet place during the winter, with a single three hour day cruise the only adventure on offer. After cleaning the boat in the afternoon I would usually go for a hike on one of the many tracks in the Deep Cove area, and one track I would often hike is the Helena Falls Track. The magnificent waterfall is always good for a few ‘ohhhs’ and ‘awwws’ when the coaches drive past, and to walk to the base of the falls and witness the power is awe inspiring…

I decided one afternoon that after finishing cleaning I would spend the night near the base of the falls, camping on an old rock slip. I’m not sure how many people have witnessed a night listening to the rumble of Helena Falls (after the removal of the old hiking hut at the mouth of the Lyvia River). A part from the sound of the waterfall, the night was very peaceful with plenty of stars out on display in a sky completely lacking of any sort of light pollution.

I had to have an early-ish start the next day so I could hike the 45 minutes or so back to the boat and start work. The morning was a frosty one, and with my breath hanging in the air I began my commute to work. I didn’t bother packing up the tent, as it was frozen with a thick layer of frost covering all exposed areas. I returned later that afternoon and collected my gear, which I was happy to find in one piece after I saw a lone Weka inspecting the campsite. The night was definitely everything I was craving, and the missions uniqueness was right up my alley. Simple, fun and fulfilling. I really understand why Sir Les Hutchins put it all on the line to purchase the hiking trail from Manapouri to Doubtful Sound back in 1954!

A Frosty Morning in Deep Cove

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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