A recent trip report from one of our guides, Graeme on the Dusky Track.
Dusky Trip 29/11/13
Guide – Graeme
Clients – Howard and Hilda
Dusky Track – Supper Cove to Lake Hauroko
Barreled up to Te Anau on the Bottom Bus, arriving at around 4:00pm where I contacted Jill from Fiordland Helicopters. Rounded up Howard and Hilda at the DOC information centre and continued out to the hanger where we went through the usual safety procedure. We were in the air by 5:00pm, swinging westward toward Lake Roe where we made a food drop before continuing on to Supper Cove. The hut was empty but the sandflies were plentiful and allowed us brief excursions outside.
The morning dawned cloudy, having had a little rain overnight, but muggy. The sun shone at fleeting intervals as we made our way to Loch Maree. The tide was out when we started, so after half an hour’s travel we were able to take to the mud flats, making our journey to the fiver mouth a little more speedy and dry. Most of the travel had the usual mud holes to scamper around, although it was quite a bit drier than what I’d seen before, but severe tree-fall toward and around the Loch made progress somewhat slow. We eventually arrived around 4:00pm having met one lone tramper on his way to Supper Cove (a rather strange Japanese fellow with a large booming voice). Hilda had a slip at one point and wrenched her knee, but after applying a little Anti-flam cream on arrival at the hut, she was able to move again the next morning.
Rain again fell overnight but did not affect the ground too much for our climb onto the Pleasant Range, where mist evaporated from the valleys and allowed snippets of views out to Dusky Sound. Three and a half hours after leaving Loch Maree we emerged onto the tops and continued across the swamp and tussocks toward Lake Roe which was eventually reach in around 6 hours. Again no trampers in sight, but by that stage rain was just starting to make its presence felt. Keas, Weka and the sound of a kiwi were the few birds bumbling about during our stay.
The day dawned bright and cheery with the sun shining, but by 7:30am a large bank of cloud had encroached on our viewing, bringing a light drizzle. Howard and I scurried up to Lake Roe just in time to take a number of photos before the rain set in, and by midday we were ready to leave for Halfway Hut. Three lads from Christchurch arrived in before we left and one more (USA) was encountered on the way down. We arrived a little soggy to a stream of sandflies congregating in the hut, but at the same time sunshine returned and allowed a little dry-off before dinner.
Halfway Hut to Houroko Burn was a straight forward affair, with good time made by all (including Hilda, whose leg had not been too troublesome the entire journey). A thunderstorm continued through the morning so things were a little damp by 1:30pm when we arrived to yet another assault by sandflies at the hut. A fantail was having a wonderful time with the pesky insects while we barricaded ourselves in the hut, only venturing out when nature called, by flying up and down the veranda with its mouth agape sucking in insects like a vacuum cleaner.
The boat arrived early and whisked us back to civilization where Hilda continued on to Te Anau, and Howard was escorted back to Invercargill.