Three-Wire Bridge (Part Two) – Hollyford Valley

“On a Mish” #391 Three-Wire Bridge (Part Two). Hollyford Valley. Fiordland National Park. 18.2.2024. Forest bathing is something humans should do as often as possible. A simple walk on a trail through trees could be all you require, however bigger doses can be found when you go somewhere where there is literally nobody else. Having a small slice of paradise to yourself is excellent for your head and was something I really missed when my hip and back was not letting me play outside. Now that I have my pinky toe back in the game, I wanted to test myself on terrain I used to fly over with ease…

After watching some show their disinterest in the Moraine Creek Track, I crossed the swing bridge over Whakatipu Ka Tuka Hollyford River and saw what made them turn back. Not only is there a boggy section immediately after the bridge, but there was also a treefall blocking the trail up Moraine Creek. At first, I was confused as the tree was covering the first orange triangle track marker, but after working out where to go I was on my way.

To get to the Three-Wire Bridge I had just under two kilometres of travel, and it wasn’t going to be easy. My balance isn’t what it used to be, so I had trouble negotiating the tree roots and mud holes. I knew straight away that I was going to get wet and muddy boots, but it wasn’t so bad knowing I wasn’t going very far.

It was great to be back hiking in Fiordland again and having the Darran Mountains towering above me was a real treat. To my surprise my muscle memory slowly returned, and I got more confident covering the rough ground as time went on. Of course, I had the odd slip, but this is just part of an adventure on such a wild track.

I eventually spotted the Three-Wire Bridge, and to see it after all these years was very heart-warming. The last time I was here I was coming back from a multiday mish and, due to how tired I was, I was probably in the same physical condition then as I was now! I had to let my hip recover before I could start my journey back to the car, and as far as places to recover go this was right up there with the best. Pristine and unspoiled, the real Aotearoa.

After a good rest and some of the best water on earth, I began my quest back to the car. On the return journey I listened to the trees groaning in the wind and above the sky was telling all to get out or get wet. I got back to the car well mudded and very happy that I had come here.

I had a short rest before beginning my drive and as fate would have it my short rest meant I bumped into a lone girl waving me down on the Hollyford Road. After picking her up she told me how she was on holiday here from Germany and had hitch hiked to the Routeburn Track from the Cascade Creek Campsite. She then hiked to Lake Howden and made her way down the Pass Creek Track to the Hollyford Road. From here she would have had a big walk back to the Milford Road, so she was very happy to get a lift.

As we drove, she told me that Fiordland was one of the most amazing places she had ever seen. Hearing her talk about how magic the place has really reminded me why I brought a house in Te Anau and why I will do all I can to stay here. After dropping her off at the campsite I continued towards home with a smile of satisfaction – thanks to my parents helping me get back on my feet (literally), and thanks to my little mish to a Three-Wire Bridge…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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