Camping in the Tin Range, Stewart Island
If you are heading south to Invercargill with a tent it kinda makes sense to pop over to Stewart Island and make use of the tracks while the days are long. Actually in summer the nights are particularly short, less than seven hours darkness.
I’d spotted the start of the Tin Range route to Port Pegasus while on the Southern Circuit. There is a sign that states the track has not been maintained since 2004, but it’s more the extreme than that, all DOC markers have been removed, you now have to follow the old foot trail, on the ground, guess which direction it’s taking, then when you get into the manuka and leatherwood scrub, all grown back mightily in the intervening years, you need to adopt a swimming motion to drag, wrestle, your way through the twigery, the pack with a full couple of weeks of food aboard a considerable impediment to progress. Once up on the broad, flattish tops there’s 25 odd km of open travel, short silvery twigs shoved into the spongy herbiage and upended rocks indicating, vaguely, the direction to point yourself.
I’m not one to scurry on through on a route like this, at least initially, so I took five days down to the north of Port Pegasus, just the two on return.
Memorable? You betcha. The full blog will be posted soon but here’s some images in the meantime.