The Borland Road to Recovery (Part Three) – Borland Rock Bivouac

“On a Mish” #287 The Borland Road to Recovery – Part Three. Borland Rock Bivouac. Fiordland National Park. 16.6.2021. We are very lucky to be able to venture into the wild places of Aotearoa and not worry about bears, wolves etc. This is appreciated even more when camping, or in this case spending a night in the dry but open confines of a rock bivvy. I have spent many nights in many different rock bivvies around New Zealand, and the Borland Rock Bivouac is right up there with the best…

A lot of work has gone into improving the experience deep in the forests of the Hunter Mountains. A wooden bench has been added to provide a huge amount of flat ground to sleep on. As well as the bench there are also walls made out of trees with moss plugging the gaps. It isn’t a hut but it is as close to it as you can get in such a remote location.

I had only been at the rock bivvy for about 45 minutes when the rain returned, and this round of the wet stuff was no problem as I was dry and happy under the massive rock. Cooking dinner with a waterfall wall beginning to form on the lip of the rock is a unique way to cook a feed!

Afternoon quickly rolled on into evening, and the light faded to dark. A good stash of dry firewood made it easy to get a fire roaring in the well used fire pit, and with its warmth I enjoyed my dinner.

With a full belly and tired legs it was time to retreat to my sleeping bag and enjoy a night out in the open, but still in the shelter of the bivvy.

I woke a couple of times during the night like I normally do, and with the fire now out the forest was as dark as dark can be, with only the closest trees visible. It was creepy in a way to look out into the blackness of the night knowing there were animals out there. Luckily none of these animals wanted me as a midnight snack!

Early-ish the next day I was up and getting ready to leave as I had work in the afternoon and had to get back to Te Anau. I’d love to stay longer but glow worms needed to be presented to the privileged people still moving around this pristine part of the planet.

Some of the best coffees I have ever had have come from a boil up with my camping stove. I enjoyed the warming sips of liquid while I waited for the first light of the day. Even though I have hiked the track in the dark before, I didn’t want to do it while there was flooding.

With a tiny bit of light starting to show in the sky I started my hike out and almost immediately I spooked a large Red Deer. I didn’t get a chance to have a good look at the animal, but I could tell from the thuds of the hooves and the breaking of tree branches it was a big one.

It was amazing how much the water levels had dropped during the night. Even though it had rained, it wasn’t heavy enough to alter the river’s normal flow. The side streams had dropped back to a trickle, and in some places the track flooding had completely disappeared. It was the perfect display of how the land copes with normal rain and heavy rain.

There was still the odd patch of water, and of course I slipped into a spot while attempting to stay dry. You can only get wet feet once per day on a hike, so for the rest of the mish I powered my way through the water which ended up saving me some time.

I got back to my car and saw that once again I was hiking at about the same times as stated on the DoC signs.

Stoked with my epic mish, I made my way back to Te Anau and was home in time for a quick shower and then it was off to work with the limp of success in my step. I was happy with the state of my hip after an adventure like this, it showed me my current phsical limits and got me excited about what I could achieve on future adventures.

Mish Success… But unlike my last visit to the Borland Rock Bivouac, this time I stayed the entire night and more importantly I wasn’t savaged by psycho sandflies!!

The Beautiful Borland Burn with Mt Titiroa(1715m) Visible Center of the Picture

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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