Found it crowded at Lake Hauroko so set off to Lake Monowai only an hour up the road at midday, just after the helicopter took off. Hot as hell when I arrived and was good to get out of the sun in the DOC campground under the trees. You have two choices in this part of the world; park under the trees, feel cool and get eaten by millions of sandflies or park in the stinkingly hot sun and get eaten by hundreds of sandflies. Take your choice.
I think everyone in Southland has taken to the lakes as it is so hot and this place is full of daytrippers too, thought the campsite was very peaceful and empty when I arrived but did fill up later. The campground and bush tracks are quite dry. I am surprised as I thought it would be more like a rain forest, but am sure it would get more like that in winter when there is more rainfall.
Bush at Monowai.
View of Lake.
The next morning set out to walk to Boreland Lodge but found the track a bit confusing. Walked for a couple of hours and then gave up. Plenty of lichen on the ground, almost looks like snow.