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1990 - 2003 Caroline Bivvy

masonbee Te Araroa

Well, there goes the 2000 mark! Onward to Caroline Bivvy.

Woke up this morning at Blue Lake in a much warmer state than I was expecting.  It must have its own little micro climate going on. Either way it is an incredible place. I thought someone had left chimes in the bush but it turned out to be bell birds.

Up over a large ancient avalanche is Lake Constance which is utterly desolate in comparison. It doesn't seem to have any outlet so it must seep through the avalanche into Blue Lack which would be why it's waters are so clear.

At the end of the valley that Lake Constance is in is Waiau Pass. Possibly the sorry estate excuse for a pass I have ever come across. At first glance the valley just ends surrounded by mountains but, thanks to the magic of marker poles, you can climb 500m up a scree slope to the pass.

The views were pretty good though and there was snow at the top of the pass so that was nice. Silvan went into fits of joy at the sight of it. I think he misses home.

At Lake Constance we ran across Shelly as well. A T. A. walker from Auckland who I had run into on the forums. And, on the other side of the pass in a grove of Beech trees, we found Abby camping. We had previously met her in the Richmond Ranges.

Abby gave us the latest weather report we have which is heavy rain tonight and tomorrow and we can already see the weather closing in. Not much fun in river country but we shall see how it goes.

We were going to stay in Caroline Bivvy but it was so dark and gloomy and swarming with sandflies that we have decided to camp in a nearby field. Better views but just as many sandflies.


  • Wairau Pass would not be fun in bad weather.
  • There is now a new hut further on from Caroline Bivvy.
  • Although there is a camping spot at the base of Wairau Pass it isn't recommended as it is in an avalanche zone.

Caroline Bivvy Map

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