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Long-Distance Walks with Mark Moxon

Hollyford-Pyke Route: Day 1: Lake Alabaster

The Hollyford River
Dawn mist rising off the Hollyford River near the start of the Hollyford Track

Of course, the rain started straight away. I couldn't really moan, seeing as I'd had four days of glorious weather on the Kepler and Fiordland isn't exactly known for its sunshine, but it did mean that the first day, from the road end to the Alabaster Hut on Lake Alabaster, wasn't that thrilling; I couldn't see much of the Hollyford Valley that I was walking down, and the promised mountains weren't anywhere to be seen. Still, the motley collection of people I found in the hut soon dispelled all thoughts of the weather; if the Kepler had been full of rather predictable traveller-types, the Hollyford was full of New Zealanders from all walks of life. From the six Tararua Tramping Club members to the two mad adventurers who had braved insane terrain to get there from Queenstown, the conversation flowed as freely as the water down the panes.