Just a few days before Christmas and a couple of days after Muir arrived (and, he still had a bit of jet lag), we took a day trip to Fiordland National Park with the intent of tramping (hiking) to Lake Marian. In October, we had hiked to Marian Falls, which was only about a half mile, but we got drenched in the process. Hiking to Lake Marian has been on our radar ever since.
So, we loaded up the car and made the three-hour drive to the trailhead. One of the nice parts of the hike is that there’s a suspension bridge just as you begin that crosses the Hollyford River and gives you a little early excitement. The hike is “only” about two miles, but it felt like it was a little longer than that. We were surrounded by the forest much of the time and didn’t realize (until recently – more in a later post) how much of an uphill trudge it was to get to Lake Marian. Another reason that the hike seemed a little longer is that I was carrying my heavy load of camera equipment as well as food, water and some spare clothes (the weather did seem a bit cool and dodgy that day). The Lake Marian Track is a very popular route in Fiordland National Park as evidenced by the trail erosion. And, another factor in the trail erosion were the couple of very obvious rockslides. It’s very easy to locate rockslides on New Zealand’s trails – they have signs that say “DO NOT STOP FOR THE NEXT 200 METERS!”
After about an hour of sorta strenuous hiking, all of the sudden we came out into this opening with a very large glacial cirque/bowl that’s filled with a beautiful turquoise lake! There were only a few other trampers/hikers at the lake and it was absolutely gorgeous place to enjoy a picnic lunch and lighten the rucksacks. I think that Muir enjoyed one of his first major tastes of New Zealand’s landscape! I hope that the gallery at the end of this post does justice to Lake Marian. And, Lake Marian provided a beautiful setting for a very special family portrait.
After hiking down from Lake Marian, we “forced” Muir to ride to the end of the road and see Milford Sound and he did seem to be a bit impressed. I was also able to capture one of my favorite photographs (so far) from New Zealand. This photograph was taken looking west from near the Homer Tunnel entrance and down the Cleddau River Valley:
After enjoying Fiordland, we stopped in Te Anau and enjoyed supper before driving home. Surprisingly, on the way home, Muir quickly fell asleep – so much for being a high-energy young adult (with jet lag).
And, we understand that our friends Jolanta, Asta and Gedis also enjoyed the Lake Marian hike when they visited Fiordland in early February – it’s a truly special place and hike!
46 S EnZed signing off…