Day 106 – Some Part LoTR Was Filmed Here, Apparently

We had a really early start this morning. Daylight hours are starting to affect us quite a lot so when we can we need to get up and get ready in the dark to be ready to hike at dawn. It wasn’t too bad as we were obviously in a nice hut and the sleeping area and kitchen area were separated so we didn’t disturb everybody. The hunters were heading out early as well so we weren’t the only ones. We hit the trail right after dawn and turned off the Greenstone pathway on to the Mavora Lakes track.

The rain had cleared overnight and we were expecting a nice sunny day. Thankfully we weren’t disappointed and the sun quickly came up and started to warm us. The first forest section was relatively straightforward and we breezed through this pretty fast. The second half to get to Taipo Hut was mostly bog and tussock so this was quite a bit slower but we still made good time to the hut.

The hut had this quircky little turnstile feature instead of the usual gate. I’d be interested to see how many goats have gotten stuck in it. After a quick break we crossed the swing bridge and continued on towards the next hut. It was very similar to the part we’d just completed and included a lot of bog. It was probably better that it had just heavily rained as it was much fresher and not as smelly as usual.

The views were great the whole way and it wasn’t to hot. We came across a random bench pieced together from some old fence and stopped for lunch here. We didn’t bother stopping at the next hut as we’d just had lunch and it was slightly off trail.

The next part was easy 4WD track, the only hard part about this was that there were a lot of unmarked 4WD tracks around. Some of them were very eroded and some were flooded but clearly a lot of dirt bikes and ATVs came up here razzing around. We passed a few that blew right by us. We also passed a group of older hikers heading to the hut we’d just bypassed for the night. There were six of them so they would’ve filled up the hut entirely. When we passed them they were stopped and after walking another 50m we found an old woman and her husband looking for her glasses on the side of the trail. Unfortunately we didn’t see them but promised to keep an eye out.

As we came around North Lake Mavora we arrived at the next hut and decided to stop in. It was a decently large hut but seemed to have more sandflies inside than outside. There were three others in here who gave curt hellos and nothing else so we kept moving. We took a picture with the lake as apparently some part of Lord of the Rings was filmed here, we couldn’t figure out what it was though. We bustled through the final 10km to the North Mavora Lake campground in less than 2 hours.

We met a nice little old man here who came up and told us three more hikers had passed by and kept going and that there were plenty of places to camp. On this information we decided to keep going a little further. Near the bottom of the campground we passed a guy who can running up to us from his campsite and said they were wondering how long we’d been on trail. We told him, but he came up to us from a BBQ with an empty spatula in hand. I wasn’t sure how to subtly suggest that next time he bring two hot dogs with him. The track crossed over a swing bridge and continued through a mixture of forest and open tussock to the South lake.

It was starting to get pretty dark so we decided to set up camp at a great little spot that we found right by the lake. The no-hot dog guy also told us it’s supposed to be raining by morning so unfortunately even though it’s incredibly clear we’re sleeping with the rainfly on. It’s definitely really cold now as well.

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