Carrying on on Heaphy Track, we’re going to spend last night in Gouland Downs Hut – hut with an atmosphere. Aptly named after an area of Gouland Downs, this hut nestles right next to the densely in moss covered bush which after dark echoes with kiwi calls. It’s not uncommon to hear kiwi fossicking in night for food in bush behind the hut or even to spot them. I love this place!
The area of Gouland Downs is braided with rivers, streams and creeks, its karst terrain is covered with golden tussock which literally lits up when hit by afternoon sun and the native forest next to hut hides many caves and caverns to be investigated. There is so much to explore here that one would need to spend much more time here than only one night.
From photographical perspective this is paradise. With so much on offer, you’ll be hard pressed to put your camera down. I walked this hike twice and can’t wait to get back for more!
After spending second night on Heaphy Track, this time at James Mackay Hut, we still have a way to go. The track winds through variety of terrain before emerging from the bush and along the Saxon River onto tussocky Gouland Downs. From here its not too long before the Saxon Hut is reached.
Saxon River originates in Gouland Downs and is not a big river at this point but from a photographical point of view – it’s a beauty. Amazing brown colours of tea like waters which even taste like tea, running through juicy green, densely moss cloaked trees and rocks make for a great photograph. I was lucky that it was very fine drizzle on an overcast day, which allowed me to render colours and detail of this bush scene nicely….amazing spot!