Friday, December 12, 2014

Kepler Track Day one - death and ice

The first day of the Kepler track, if camping and hiking the traditional route anti clockwise, is a short hike from the car park to Brod Bay campsites.

Since the hike is so short (1.5 hours, 5.6k) I wanted to hike to the peak of Mt Luxmore, appx 10k from our camp. This does mean one will hike a section of the track three times in two days (up, down, up again), but with the change in weather the views can be completely different.

So we set up camp at the sandfly infested Brod Bay campsites and hiked to the peak of Mt Luxmore.

This picture depicts exactly how I felt about the sandflys. I neglected to by deet bug spray, and if I did not keep moving I quickly got covered in the bloodsuckers. I am allergic to bites, so this can be a serious issue. This fantastic cartoon was hanging in the DOC (department of conservation) office where one checks in and gets tickets for the tramp.

Stoats are rodents related to the weasel. They were first introduced to New Zealand in the 1880's by European settlers so as to reduce the rabbit population. (Rabbits were introduced to New Zealand in the 1870's by same settlers as a food staple.) Instead, the stoats reduced the native bird population. Stoats love eggs. Recently New Zealand has implemented a stoat depopulation program so as to increase native bird species. A common irradiation method is the "stoat tunnel", a wooden box with a wire mesh cover that allows a stoat to "tunnel" into the box. Inside the box is an egg laced with bait (poison). The stoat eats the egg and never eats another egg. Last meal boxes.

The Fiordlands weather is famous for rain and fog. This was the view from the top of Mt. Luxmore at 1472 meters:

The Peak of Mt Luxmore


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Location:Town Centre,Te Anau,New Zealand

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