Welcome to Clearwater (Part Two) – Lake Clearwater / Erewhon

“On a Mish” #373 Welcome to Clearwater (Part Two). Lake Clearwater Village / Erewhon Station Area. Hakatere Conservation Park. 8.5.2023. As a guide the goal is to first show how much you love a place, and second to attempt to get others just as fascinated. As a proud Kiwi I have always enjoyed the challenge of making even the least animated people say ‘wow’. Now, thanks to my hip injury, I am not guiding at the moment and I need to go out of my way to get the satisfaction that comes with showing people something awesome…

A place that I have a newly found appreciation of is Lake Clearwater Village. Of course since 2009 I have had many outstanding adventures starting from the crib in Clearwater, but after my injury I have learnt to appreciate the small things like a simple mish of just being there and chilling out.

Luckily there have been times when I have been joined by others at the crib, and instantly my guiding ways take over. Over time I have learnt more and more about the area, and I enjoy relaying this to others, whether they want to hear it or not!

My bro Jens from Sweden was nearing the end of his rather interesting stay in Aotearoa and although he had been to the Hakatere area before he hadn’t had the NzHikes treatment. The goal was a small hike and a huge hunger busting feast. Being a former chef, Jens always seems to be able to whip up a fantastic feast, and I was happy to put in the mahi to get the kai. We only had about 24 hours available and I wanted to put on a show and really welcome him to Clearwater.

From the moment we rolled into town the show began. Picture perfect reflections on Lake Camp

forced us to stop even before we got to the crib. We unloaded the food and firewood laden car, then headed west in search of stunning countryside to photograph and it didn’t take long before we were stopping again.

On Jens’ last mish to the area he hiked the Mt Sunday Track, made famous by being a major location during the filming of Lord of the Rings. On this day I was going to show him Mt Sunday from above via the track up to the old Erewhon Park Ski Field.

Dark clouds in the west told us we only had a limited amount of time in the dry. The rain was coming and with it were clouds that would take the views away.

At a controlled speed we sped our way towards the base of Mt Potts and the start of the track. We got some of the way up before we felt the first drips of the storm. Our timing couldn’t have been better as we had most of the vista to start with and then, starting with a rainbow, the clouds consumed the massive Rangitata Valley.

A Rainbow over Mesopotamia

A couple of hours out were just enough before we retreated back to the crib to stoke the fire and begin prep for our feast. And what a feast it was!

Jens had worked his magic and the day had unfolded just as I had hoped. Drips turned to bigger drops and then later on drizzle turned to heavy rain. We couldn’t have timed our stay any better with the small weather window we had. It was safe to say Hakatere had done its job when it came to welcoming Jens to the Clearwater area.

Early-ish the next day I was up marvelling at another magnificent morning in the mountains, and to be honest I didn’t want to go back to the real world!

Reluctantly after cleaning the crib we dragged ourselves away from paradise and began the drive back across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. It was epic showing Jens the Borland Area, the place I love to visit when down south in Te Anau and I’m sure a place he will remember for a long time to come. And hopefully along with his mish with his local guide (me!) to Borland, he will remember the time I did my best to welcome him to Clearwater…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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