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Mysterious Loch Maree

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April 2021 Issue

Loch Maree, Fiordland National Park

At the head of Dusky Sound lies a mysterious loch that holds more than a few stories. The loch formed after an 1826 earthquake caused an enormous landslide to block the Seaforth River. In the process, the loch swallowed a substantial stand of beech trees that can still be seen today, half-submerged and giving the loch an eerie feel.

In 1903, when jobs were scarce, a group of 50 West Coast miners were sent to carve a track from Lake Manapouri to Supper Cove. Their tools are still where they abandoned them next to Loch Maree.

Loch Maree Hut is perched just above the loch at the junction of the Dusky and Supper Cove tracks. If approaching from Lake Roe Hut, expect a steep 1000m descent before having to ford the Seaforth, which is best done upstream of where the walkwire once was.

The track to Supper Cove follows the route the miners cut, with their handiwork still evident in many places.

For those continuing to Supper Cove, be sure to pack a handline as it is an excellent spot to catch blue cod.

– Sam Harrison


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Distance
84km
Total Ascent
3828m
Grade
Difficult
Time
8-10 days (full Dusky Track)
Access
Loch Maree Hut is on the Dusky Track, accessed by boat from Te Anau
Map
CD06, CE05, CE06

GPX File

Dusky Track (gpx, 161 KB)

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