Blue Lake Hut to Upper Waiau River Camping

23 Jan. Up at 06:00 to take some atmospheric photos of Blue Lake. Started walking at 08:00 with a slight detour to see the source of the lake and then on upwards to Lake Constance where I met Peter from the US who was taking a snack break and some photos. I snacked as well for the 550m climb ahead and we were joined by Yuya, Stefan, Oceane, Tristan, and Veronique. We all snaked our way up to the top of the pass over scree slopes. Most had a lunch break at the top and Oceane, Stefan and I went on as a small group for the steep 900m descent into the Waiau Valley. It was hard on the knees, so Stefan and I picked an early campsite by the river. No rain forecast so we should be OK on the river bank. Nice location for a river wash and shave. Washed my walking gear as well and we had enough sun to just about dry them. Pitching camp early at around 15:15 meant the sandflies weren’t yet out in force.

At about 18:00 Holger came down from the pass. He is usually the last one sweeping the trail, and a strong tramper. The previous day he has even done some track maintenance, removing some confusing orange triangles on trees swept down across the river. He didn’t need much persuading to join our campsite. As soon as we lost the sun, the sandflies were out, but at least we had our tents up and were well covered up. A South Island Robin entertained us while we ate (chilli-con-carne with pasta).

Only 11.5km today in 7:15 hours, but 850m of climb and 1100m of decent overall.

Blue Lake Dawn.
Blue!
Looking down on Blue Lake.
Edging round Lake Constance.
Head of Lake Constance.
Oceane and Stefan. Waiau Pass on the horizon.
Yuya looking back on Lake Constance.
Ascent over scree.
More scree.
The haul up.
Group lunching on Waiau Pass.
Going down, backwards in places.
Descending into upper Waiau River valley.
Waterfalls on the river.
Campsite.
South Island Robin.

9 thoughts on “Blue Lake Hut to Upper Waiau River Camping

  1. Matthew

    Very inspiring Richard.

    Like

  2. Ahmed

    What a beautiful place. Excellent Photos. You Inspired me and changed my view about my future. It would be great if I got half of the passion of life you have. Waiting for more of your beautiful shots

    Like

    1. Hi Ahmed, sorry I didn’t get you up Johnston Hill. You never know where that may have led 😊

      Like

  3. Emily Shrosbree

    I can see some photo competition entries in the making from this section 🙂

    Like

  4. Bridget Robinson

    Amazing and beautiful photos Richard.

    Like

  5. Di Graham

    Stunning countryside/terrain and awesome photos Richard! But that scree?! I take my hat off to you all! Loving your posts Richard.

    Like

  6. Ros Couldwell

    Always look forward to reading your next update and seeing your amazing photos.! I think the Robin was a sign from Jenny and she was checking you are ok. 💓

    Like

  7. Mike phethean

    Nice photo of the toutouwai

    Like

  8. Sunil Shrestha

    What a beautiful place.you inspired me and change my view of Nature. I’m really inspired with you and your work as well as Nature love.you are a brave man.and you take an Amazing photo shots. I’m still waiting for another inspiring photo shoots.

    Like

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