Salisbury Lodge - Kahurangi National Park
We are off in search of big skies and snow in celebration of the Maori New Year. Signified by the Matariki cluster of stars reappearing in our night sky, this is a time to reflect on the past year, celebrate the present, and plan for the year ahead.
We have a new car so we are able to access Flora carpark in the Kahurangi National Park without having to scrounge a 4x4. Happy Days.
We arrived at the carpark at 11am. No drama we thought. There's enough daylight for 14km.......
It was drizzling as we set off and we had our first egg sammie stop at Flora Hut. Occupied with the fires going well.
The drizzle cleared and we enjoyed skipping along the easy track towards the Gridiron Rock Shelter.
So many beautiful waterfalls.
Rounding the corner we are met with more waterfalls, bridges and the Gridiron shelter, pretty impressive. There's even waterproof mattresses up the on the wooden platform for you to sleep out.
We enjoyed a hearty lunch at Gridiron and left to make our way to Salisbury Lodge.
After the easy walking we had enjoyed, the path narrowed from here. It was slippery and rooty and the going was slower.
Bridges and waterfalls continue to add drama along the route.
John doing his best growler impression as we rested at Growler Camp :)
It was here I realised we were possibly going to run out of daylight. Move it people.
The vegetation changes the higher we go. We soldiered on, the Tableland was in sight. An vast alpine tussock area where we would find our bed for the night.
SNOW!! The boy was happy. No time to stop though. We still had a way to go and the wind was getting up.
You will be pleased to hear we stopped and built a very small snow man the next day. The boy was beside himself, John that is ;)
This photo was taken as we crossed tableland the next day. After we had found snow we had to push on for the lodge. The light was fading. I could not use the camera, my hands were too cold. The wind was biting. The ground was boggy and slippery with metre deep welts masquerading as the path.
We made it to the lodge at last! Just as the last of the light left us. We were not the last ones in though. Another group arrived from the Cobb Valley side in the dark.
The lodge was warm, steamy and FULL. We celebrated Matariki with our fellow adventurers and slept like logs. Not in the least disturbed by any farting or snoring that may or may not have been occuring.
We headed back the next day. Jealous of our fellow adventurers, most of whom were spending longer exploring Tableland.
We could not linger though, we had left teenagers behind and who knew what they were up to.......
It is amazing what 48 hours in the wilds can do for your general feeling of wellbeing.
It was a short, sweet adventure, though it took longer than anticipated with 13 hours on the trail. Please be prepared for all eventualities when heading out.
We made it back to Nelson knackered but fully charged.
Any time, any place, anywhere. Just get out there.