Neither of us was sad to leave Glenorchy Hotel, and we had certainly spent a good amount of time in the Glenorchy township. When I checked out, the front desk was positively abandoned so I just left the key sitting there and slipped away.
Per the new hotel rules, Hayden and I had breakfast at the waterfront. There wasn’t much food left unless we wanted to cook eggs (we didn’t) so Hayden had the last of the cereal and I had a half bagel and cream cheese.
Though we hadn’t made any plans, it turned out to be a full day. I spontaneously decided that we would hike both the Diamond Creek Track and the Lake Sylvan Track today. Both were ~1.5 hour roundtrip hikes in the area. Doing both meant that we wouldn’t get to check into Peppers in Queenstown right at check-in time, but we agreed that the few extra hours hiking would be worth it.
Our first stop, Diamond Creek, was about 15 minutes north of Glenorchy, near High Country Horses. Most of Diamond Creek Track is a thin, barely trampled path through tall grasses. The track follows Diamond Creek to Lake Reid, the turnaround point. It was a short hike and not very well-traveled. We had cellular data for the first (and last) 20 minutes of the hike and found a lot of water Pokemon. The hike took slightly longer because I stood around trying to catch a Swinub for awhile while my phone was glitching.
The internet had warned us that the track could be a little boggy, and that was true to some extent. We saw lots of sheep in the fenced farm areas and they all ran away from us. We’re too big and loud.
Lake Reid was a scenic end to the trail. Lots of long-necked birbs were there. There were almost TOO many.
On the way to the Lake Sylvan Track, we passed High Country Horses and Delta Discovery and made like we were going to the start of Routeburn. We even identified the spot where we saved the baby sheep last time. Our car rumbled harshly down the gravel road and, instead of saving a baby sheep, the car noise scared one so badly that it felt that the safest move was to hurl its body into a fence. I felt bad for it.
Lake Sylvan starts on a turnoff prior to Routeburn. The sun came out soon after we began our hike. There were lots of trees and it felt like a hike somewhere in California.
The lake itself certainly didn’t feel like California, though.
The Lake Sylvan outlook was a nice place to have a drink of water and take a break.
Though we saw many interesting birds along our hikes, one memorable bird experience was when we walked by a mama duck and scared her enough that she immediately flew away and abandoned her 10 ducklings. All the ducklings were terrified of our presence and pointlessly scuttled away in a random direction. Can you spot all the ducklings in this picture?
Hayden: I don’t see any. I don’t believe.
In the parking lot I made us tuna sandwiches, marking the last of the canned meat for that trip. The freeze dried Beef and Pasta Hotpot continues to lurk in the background.
Hayden drove us to Queenstown, which was about an hour and fifteen minutes from Lake Sylvan. Between the tuna sandwich, a bit of dehydration, staring at my phone, and the endlessly winding roads, I got pretty dang carsick and felt gross the whole ride to Queenstown. Luckily, Peppers was waiting for us on the other side.