I'm not sure if I've written about my hatred of hills before on here? I may sometimes appear fit and intrepid but actually I cry walking up hills and curse going down them, if it wasn't for the views, I'd permanently be 0 metres above sea level.
It's awesome then, to find a spot you can drive to and camp that is already 800m above sea level, and not a huge climb to get up into the alpine zone. I've visited the Cobb Valley a few times now, camping every trip down by the river (among the sandflies) and have spent my time wandering, camera in hand, admiring the flora that is just not common anywhere else. What a treat it is to carefully pick your campsite between blooming Maori Onion (Bulbinella hookerii) and Cobb Valley Gentian (Gentianella patula), to wander through patches of celmisia (daisies) and search out the carefully protected Red Mistletoe (Peraxilla tetrapetala).
Friends of the Cobb have been relentless in their protection of this beautiful area. Their behind the scenes, no glory approach to conserving the Cobb has seen the area flourish under their guardianship. The trapping is intensive, the replanting and care of rare plants is evident everywhere you look, and the fact that they are working with DOC, not against them is brilliant. Whether you support 1080 or not, it was clear on our last visit that it was doing its job, juvenile Tomtits, Rifleman and Weka were out in force and the racket from Morepork, Kea and Weka competing for attention on dusk was almost deafening. Trout were visible in even the small waterways although I did flick a lure around a few times and sadly I never succeeding in catching our dinner.
I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to exploring here, with tight schedules I usually stick fairly close to the Cobb reservoir. I will be back though, and will slowly tick off more of the huts and walks. If you would like to explore this amazing area with Andy and I, we are hoping to organise a nature meet soon. Please be in touch to express your interest.