Waking to grey skies, we added a few extra layers and clambered into cars.

A short drive to the Outlet Motor Camp, we found ourselves at the starting point of the incredibly scenic Outlet Track.

Just as we were setting of, an excitable Labrador pup skidded down towards us by the waters edge, darted in around our legs
and took off just as fast as he’d appeared (I’ve never seen a dog move so fast!). Leaving us standing there surprised and laughing as his owner rode past on his bike, apologising to the group.

The crisp, autumn leaves shone like gold on the poplar trees that lined the rivers edge, the clouds hanging low over the surrounding mountains. Just 3km from one end to the other, the track is easy, and we were able to take in all of the little things along the way.

We followed the track along the Clutha River (Mata-Au), passing bikers and other families out on a morning walk or run until we reached the end at the Hikuwai Reserve in Albert Town.

Here, we skipped rocks over the water (my Dad out-skipping us all), and enjoyed the quiet stillness.

What a treat it would be to have places like this just around the corner. I never ever tire of New Zealand’s great outdoors and could never spend too long outside (I’d be willing to brave even the coldest chill).

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