Doug, Luke, Rob and myself have just returned from a trip that, despite being a fairly short mission, provided a full spectrum backcountry experience. We had a bit of everything - wind, rain, sunshine, fresh snow, low water, high water, easy walking, hard walking, straight forward paddling and technical whitewater. This is the trip done by Roman Dial et al and Forrest McCarthy (and probably a heap of Kiwis) in recent years - starting in the Hopkins valley, up the Huxley and north branch of the Huxley, crossing the main divide at Brodrick pass into the Landsborough valley and paddling out to the Haast road. Highly recommended. Oh yeah, consider taking a spare paddle. I'll try to get an edit and some more words together soon.