Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nevis and Fiordland

Before leaving Queenstown and heading South to Fiordland, we decided to try the Nevis River. We’d heard it was pretty hard, with people recommending camping at the put in for an early start, and planning on taking 10-12 hours the first time.

Since it was our first time, we set off early. Thankfully we had a shuttle driver. Thanks Cheryl. Ed and I got on pretty early, and moved quickly. Soon we were into the hard stuff, with an interesting seal launch round a dodgy looking rapid. From there on in it was nonstop fantastic boating. Most of it boat scoutable, some not. A few portages round sieved out, or enormous rapids kept us on our toes. After a lunch stop the rapid started to mellow out, and we were through the worst. We made the take out by 3pm. Shame our shuttle didn’t arrive to pick us up for another 3 hours. Well we did think it would take us longer!

From there we drove to Fiordland. We’d hoped there would be some rain to bring the rivers up, and we weren’t disappointed. As soon as we arrived, we hopped onto the Hollyford. Supposedly an easy section, but it was pretty high…… Some serious boat rescuing filled the remainder of the day, and even continued the next day.

A nice easy paddle on the Cleddau took us into Milford Sounds. We met the Keas at the Homer Tunnel, who were happy to pose for us.
We were hoping to do the Arthur river, but didymo risks meant having to take a boat over the sound, which seemed all too difficult to arrange, so instead we returned to Gunns Camp, and paddled the classy Moraine Creek section of the Hollyford. Well worth it.

Now we say goodbye to Ed. Thanks for coming all the way from the US…. Its been great having you here!!!