Welcome to Clearwater (Part One) – Lake Clearwater Area

“On a Mish” #373 Welcome to Clearwater (Part One). Lake Clearwater Village. Hakatere Conservation Park. 8.5.2023. Once a guide, always a guide. It is hard to shake off your guiding ways after you leave the industry, especially if you really enjoy showing off your own backyard. We are very lucky to have to have such a picturesque country (Aotearoa) and after showing my friend from Sweden how awesome the Borland Area in Fiordland is, it was time to show him one of my other favourite places. Welcome to Lake Clearwater Village…

In 2009 I traveled with my Grandmother to the crib / bach in the Lake Clearwater Village for the first time and since then I have been back way more than a couple of times! Every time I visit this fascinating area I leave much more relaxed than when I first got there, and most of the time I leave with some form of adventure story. From short walks to multi day wanders, I have always found some way to keep myself busy even when hiking wasn’t an option (due to my hip injury).

On a few occasions I have had the opportunity to show the place to first time visitors and without even thinking about it I revert back to guide mode. I am sure I was put on this earth to tell people how awesome Aotearoa is, and now that I am not guiding I have to take every chance I get.

My friendship with Jens from Sweden began in a cave. We were both guides at the Te Anau Glowworm cave and together we spent many days underground having a blast at the ohh & ahh factory. I’m sure that neither of us will never forget our time working in the world of the worm that glows. Both of us began the gig as rookie spelunkers, and both left with a new found appreciation for the world below the surface of the earth.

During our lunch breaks I would continue to go on about how awesome Fiordland is and I guess in a way to shut me up Jens agreed to join me on a mish up the Borland Road. Of all places in the 1.3 million hectares of Fiordland National Park, the Borland area is the place I have visited the most. The main reason is the fact that a road cuts right through the middle of the mountains, giving easy access to some very cool peaks and ridges.

Lake Clearwater Pre-Storm

On our trip to the area we had a classic mix of rain and cloud just perfect for pictures and Te Namu.

Now 18 months later and with both of us living a life above ground, we regrouped in Christchurch to discuss a mission to Lake Clearwater Village, another place I wouldn’t shut up about back during our days at the caves. With the chill of early winter in the air I thought a night in the crib sounded like the best way to present the place that is my mountain homebase during most winters since 2009.

Just like with the Borland Road, I’m guessing that in order to shut me up Jens would head to tiny town to see the place with his own eyes and do some exploring. Jens had been to Mt Sunday and explored the place made famous by the Lord of the Rings movies. On that mish he lived ‘rough’ and drove through the village without giving it a second thought, now he had an opportunity to spend a night in the comforts of the crib.

A quick weather check meant we would have to get there and explore immediately, due to rain in the forecast later on that day. After doing our best to empty the shelves at New World (supermarket) of all the tasty delicacies we headed west and the dark clouds on the horizon told us we better get there quickly if we wanted to stay dry!…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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