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Land of the long blue lake

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January 2019 Issue

Mt Campbell, Mavora Lakes Conservation Park

It was supposed to be an easy tramp in order to rest a little in between alpine climbing missions. However, those rest-days often turn into demanding endeavours and it was the case with this trip along the ridge of the Thomson Mountains.

Mavora Lakes is a favourite spot for families, fishermen and trampers on the Greenstone-Mavora and Te Araroa trails. But if you want to escape the sandflies and the crowds, the Thomson Mountains is the place to go.

There are two huts and a DOC campsite near the head of North Mavora Lake, which help make this trip an excellent three-day loop.

You can reach the tops from Boundary Hut, beside the Mararoa River and a few kilometres from North Mavora Lake. After a two hour struggle up the steep slope and tussock, you will reach the ridge north of Cold Peak (1613m). From there, navigation is pretty straightforward. Just follow the ridge south until you finally stand atop Mt Campbell and take in those panoramic viewsPhoto.

If you have time, there is a great camping spot next to a tarn, just south of Mt Campbell. On your way back, either backtrack to the saddle north of Mt Campbell and descend to the 4WD road running along the lake, or follow the main ridge to descend to South Mavora Lake.

– Jakub Cejpek

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Total Ascent
Three days. Mavora Lakes Campsite (north) to Boundary Hut 3.5-4hr; To Cold Peak, 2.5hr; To Mt Campbell, 5hr; To Mavora Lakes Campsite (north), 3.5hr
Careys Hut ($5, six bunks), Boundary Hut ($5, four bunks)
From SH94 between Mossburn and Te Anau, turn-off at either Centre Hill or Burwood Station and follow unsealed roads for 39km
CC09, CC10

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