Going through my list of potential missions:
If I got off the bus in Haast, is there a way to organise a ride down to the end of the road at the Cascade/Martyr Homestead road end?
I suppose another option would be trying to find a spare seat with a heli or plane going into the coast along there.
Presumably the Longs are getting supplies in by plane every month or so, might be possible to start from the Hollyford Road end, time things to be at Gorge River when a plane is coming in with supplies and get a ride out on the now emptier plane?
Anyone with any experience of logistics of getting down that way and back?
Could be / is more likely to be a winter mission than a summer one, possibly next winter with any luck.
This post has been edited by the author on 2 December 2018 at 12:41.
Here are a few ideas that may or may not suit you? You could hitch from Haast to Jackson Bay then start walking from there. First to Stafford Bay and then over the plateau to the Martyr. (This is a longer walk than starting from the Martyr of course but it would be much easier to hitch to Jackson Bay than all the way in to the Martyr and it would be more interesting than walking the road from the Jackson Bay road turnoff. There is not much traffic from the Arawhata to Martyr homestead and it is a long way. Of the four times I've driven it on three of the occasions no other vehicles were encountered)
Sometimes cray fishing boats working from Jacksons Bay will drop people off at Barn Bay or further south. No good if sea too rough though.
Haast based helicopters are often in the Martyr area and you may be able to piggy back on other work they are doing to get to the road end by ground support vehicle or helicopter?
Haast based DOC sometimes go in there too.
The Longs see choppers and planes quite frequently; but I don't think they're on an organised or regular basis. I could be wrong.
I visited the Long's in 2001 (I'm the dude who originally suggested he take a look at the Cascade area when he first came to NZ. Robert is the cousin of a very old and close friend which is how we first met. Say hi to him from me if you do make it.)
In my case I had an cheap rental that I drove into Martyr, then did a loop trip out to and down the coast, stayed at Gorge River about five days, then up the Gorge River and over into the Upper Cascade. Pack floated down through the three major gorges with not too much trouble except a bunch of shivers from the last one which has about 400m of slow water to navigate with no option to get out. Did this one on my own and it still stands out as one of the best tramps.
Glenn's suggestion looks good. The trip over the plateau strikes me as the best tramping option; but if you're prepared to be a bit flexible then I'm sure you'd find someone to give you some sort of lift into Martyr.
Be careful crossing the Cascade, it's a big damn river and if it's up it's a no go for someone on their own. The Hope is smaller but capable of stopping you as well. There are some fishing huts at the beach near the mouth of the Hope, but I've no idea if they're open or available these days. Outside of my time in Dusky Sound the sandflies were the worst I encountered.
But it's a great tramping area and if the wx is kind you'll have a fine mission!
This post has been edited by the author on 5 December 2018 at 22:25.
fwiw,when you get to the Cascade using the 4wd track,go downstream. for a few hundred yards to find a fine gravelled crossing.In average flows this is crutch deep but quite safe.Upstream is narrower & deep.If you have a yarn to a few locals,you may find someone to drop you at the Martyr for fuel money/beersies.
Great neck of the woods.