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Humping the Hump – the Tuatapere Hump Ridge track

hump-trig.jpgA night spent in Teal Bay hut on Lake Hauroko reminded me why I hate huts. After we arrive alone, one boat lands. Then another. Then another, who fish for trout at night with pink plastic mice. Then at 2am, a boat load of drunken fools cooks a midnight feast with nonstop cursing. How I hate that Swazi-clad, mess-leaving, part-time “hunter” part of our kiwi culture! At 2.30am I left the hut to sleep by the lake edge, hearing the far sweeter sound of kiwi calling.

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Next day a sharp hump up to the Hump blows away my grumpiness. Unusually for Southland, a strong Northeast breeze howls, making it cold in the full sun. The tussock tops wave and my jacket thrums. What a view!

Lake Hauroko glistens below, dominated by Caroline Peak. Te Waewae bay stretches for miles east, with Bluff hill a distant mound. Rakiura and Solander Island loom large on the horizon. The Wairaurahiri river and its forested flats stretch south. All of southern Fiordland lies exposed. the Hump is a prime lookout and well worth a visit.

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Its easy travel heading down the ridge toward the epic boardwalk of the “Tuatapere Hump Ridge track”. Not a soul to be seen pounding the boards. I wonder if they will ask us for money to walk on this very expensive track? It is a long descent into the impressive lowland rimu forest around the logging viaducts, but Percy Burn hut is a lovely spot.

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