Exploring new routes #358

After all the research, planning and prep was done it was time to head off. I was really looking forward to this trip, the main focus was to ride and GPS log three valley tracks plus check out the surrounding rivers for the upcoming fishing season. Aside from logging some other interesting sections of tarmac the above three tracks turned out to be fantastic and each of the valleys were absolutely stunning. I'll soon follow with full access articles, in the meantime here are a few pics from the trip...

Photo 1 of Exploring new routes #358
A clear running tributary meeting the brown swollen water of the Buller River
Photo 2 of Exploring new routes #358
I had initially planned to camp up at Lake Rotoroa and fish the lake edges. Heavy rain and snow melt meant high lake levels and cold water, with only wet wading gear on-board hitting the Porika Track seemed far more inviting than wading waist deep in ice cold water
Photo 3 of Exploring new routes #358
Arriving at St Arnaud I decided to park up for the night in one of these log cabin motels
Photo 4 of Exploring new routes #358
The next day's misty low cloud made for an eerie morning on Lake Rotoiti
Photo 5 of Exploring new routes #358
Heading up the first 4X4 Valley track, the Leatham River
Photo 6 of Exploring new routes #358
Photo 7 of Exploring new routes #358
With recent rain and snow the lower river crossing was high and very swift, the slippery boulders made it even more interesting
Photo 8 of Exploring new routes #358
The crossings further up the valley had slightly less flow, still very swift however
Photo 9 of Exploring new routes #358
The first track was an absolute cracker, a great track with numerous access points to a fantastic river; this one is solidly scheduled into the upcoming fishing season for a riding/fishing trips. It was then on to a slightly less challenging track (Boulder Stream) but one with equally as impressive valley views
Photo 10 of Exploring new routes #358
At the Boulder Forks Hut an hour quickly slipped by yarning with a very friendly couple, Miriam and Peter
Photo 11 of Exploring new routes #358
It was then off to the next track, the Branch. This was by far the most challenging crossing, it was high, swift and bouldery putting my river crossing skills and strength to the test. Once across, it was a fairly straightforward track with lots of small stream crossings
Photo 12 of Exploring new routes #358
Photo 13 of Exploring new routes #358
Photo 14 of Exploring new routes #358
With the day coming to an end I decided to park up for the night in this hut
Photo 15 of Exploring new routes #358
Photo 16 of Exploring new routes #358
The loo phone. Brilliant!
Photo 17 of Exploring new routes #358
With the next morning bringing blue skies it was time to head out and GPS log some tarmac
Photo 18 of Exploring new routes #358
I swung by Argile Pond
Photo 19 of Exploring new routes #358
Photo 20 of Exploring new routes #358
Photo 21 of Exploring new routes #358
After logging SH63 and looping around Blenheim to log the top end of SH6 I shot up to have a look at Opouri River and out to Tennyson Inlet. I was impressed to see the tree in the middle of Tennyson Inlet Road
Photo 22 of Exploring new routes #358
Photo 23 of Exploring new routes #358
Photo 24 of Exploring new routes #358
After a successful and enjoyable trip gathering content for the website it was time to head home, you could have called it a seamless trip until a nail decided to rudely puncture my tube. Tyre off, a new tube in and I was on my way again...
Photo 25 of Exploring new routes #358

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