Heading north from Hanmer Springs I stopped in a lay-by to dry out all the Packrafting gear before driving through Lewis Pass to my next destination. I was planning on bagging a few huts and having a tranquil night camping by a lake.
My destination was Lake Daniels, which has a relatively new hut beside the lake. Because of it's popularity with young families, being only a couple of hours' walk from the carpark, the hut requires booking. I wasn't that keen to share with a bunch of young kids, so I was planning on camping a bit further along the lake shore. The hut was booked out anyway!
The walk in crosses the Maruia River and then sidles above Alfred River and Frazer Stream to come out at Lake Daniels. It's wet, primal forest, teeming with autumn fungi. A real change after the tussock lands of South Canterbury.
The lake itself is very pretty, and I stopped briefly at the hut to sign the intentions book before heading further along the lake shore to find a secluded campsite a few hundred metres away.
The next morning I tramped around to the other end of the lake and headed along an old 4WD track to Station Creek, where I bagged a couple more huts situated within the valley. Then I walked back to my tent, packed up, and walked back down to the road end.
Finding more fungi along the way...
From the carpark I continued north. That's next....
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