Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Great Walks for the 2021/2022 Season


My 2021/2022 Great Walk season....

 I am planning to walk sections of three Great Walks this year if I am able to secure hut bookings. The bookings for the coming season open next week with the Heaphy Track opening on Tuesday 15th June...Routeburn Track opening on Wednesday 16th June and Abel Tasman Coastal Track opening on Thursday 17th June.

Abel Tasman Coastal Track:

I have an overnight trip on the Abel Tasman Coast Track planned for late July- early August 2021 or in about six weeks time. 

Totaranui Beach with Gibbs Hill to the rear, Abel Tasman NP

The Abel Tasman can be walked right through the year as the weather and conditions are fine for much of the time. By utilising the huts you can have a comfortable and much warmer nights sleep in winter as they all feature wood burners with a good supply of fuel. 

Wharewharangi Hut in Abel Tasman NP

I will only be walking a short section of the track from Wainui Bay to Wharewharangi and from there to Totaranui. The first day is about 6 kilometers over 2-3 hours and means you climb up and over Gibbs Hill to the hut down on the coast. 

Start of the Abel Tasman Coast Track at Wainui Bay

The next day I will walk 10 kilometers of the Coast Track back along the coast via Mutton Cove & Anapai Beach to a water-taxi pick-up at Totaranui.

Anapai Bay from the Abel Tasman Coast Track

I have walked both of these sections before BUT I have no photos of my 1993 trip from the Wainui end of this track.... I would like to complete the full Abel Tasman Great Walk and feature it on these pages.

Heaphy Track:

Let me say up front that planning a tramp on the Heaphy Track is really difficult. Booking the track itself is not that difficult if there are places available but organising transport to and from the track ends is diabolical. I will be writing a post about booking the Heaphy Track soon as I found it so bloody difficult to organise so watch for that...

Brown Hut marks the northern terminus of the Heaphy Track

I have actually walked the whole of the Heaphy Track before but have long wanted to have a second bash at it. Back in 1990 I was doing an Army exercise near Karamea when they asked if anyone wanted to walk the track so we were dropped by helicopter at Perry Saddle and walked out to the Kohaihai road end. 

On the Gouland Downs, Kahurangi NP

Later in the early 1990's my then girlfriend and I walked in from Brown Hut to Perry Saddle Hut for an overnight trip. 

View down to the old Perry Saddle Hut, Kahurangi NP

I am looking at walking the Heaphy Track in November 2021 from Brown Hut (Tasman end...) to Kohaihai (West Coast end...). I am going to fly to Nelson and then Karen is going to come collect me from the Karamea end of the track. This will make getting back to Christchurch a lot easier...

Nikau Palms along the coast en-route to Kohaihai, Kahurangi NP

I will be taking five days on the track staying in Perry Saddle, Saxon, James McKay and Heaphy Huts. This will mean I have one short day of roughly 3 hours walking and four days where I am walking from 5-7 hours. The shortest distance will be 7 kilometers and the longest on day four will be just under 20 kilometers.

The Kohaihai bridge marks the southern terminus of the Heaphy Track

I am really looking forward to revisiting this gem in the north west of the South Island. 

Update: booked for first week of December but only just.... 

Routeburn Track:

I have unfinished business with the Routeburn Track...when I attempted to walk it in December 2019 a massive storm blew in so I didn't get any further than Howden Hut. The rivers flooded so the track closed and so much rain fell that DOC had to helicopter people out of Lake Mackenzie, Routeburn Falls and Routeburn Flat Huts.

Howden Hut on the Routeburn Track (damaged and removed in 2021)

 Admittedly I did get to go down the Greenstone Valley to McKellar Hut for a couple of nights so that was something. It is only two odd hours from Howden Hut and I spent two days there with about 15 other people before walking out to the Divide Shelter and a shuttle to Te Anau.

Heavy rain falling in the Greenstone Valley, Greenstone-Caples Recreation Area

I would like the man once said.."...knock the bugger off..."

DOC weather report at Howden on!!!

I am looking at the Grand start at Routeburn Shelter walk the Routeburn Track to the turn off to the Greenstone Valley and then walk right down the Greenstone Track to a shuttle pick up point near Lake Whakatipu. It is almost a circuit albeit with a 30 odd kilometer gap between the two trail heads. 

McKellar Hut in the Greenstone Valley

Depending on hut availability I will be walking the track in mid February 2022 ( that sounds so wrong...2022...). I will probably start from and finish in Queenstown if I do the Grand Traverse but if I decide to just do the Routeburn I would start and finish in Te Anau. 

The Routeburn Track starts near Glenorchy on Lake Whakatipu

So those are my plans for the Great Walks this year...come back later to see how each of the trips progressed.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Great Walk Huts of New Zealand

 A photo record of Great Walk huts...

I thought I would build a photo record of the Great Walk huts I have visited over the years. I haven't visited every single hut on all of the Great Walks as sometimes I was camping or I passed by a hut without visiting it. Some of the current Great Walk huts were built after I visited that particular track so they are not shown. 

Lake Waikaremoana Track: (1990)

I have noted next to each of the tracks the year I walked far the only Great Walk I have visited more than once is the Abel Tasman Coastal Track (5 times) but I have plans to walk several of these tracks a second time. 

Panekire Hut, Te Urewera

Waiopaoa Hut, Te Urewera

Waiharuru Hut, Te Urewera

Whanganui Hut, Te Urewera

Tongariro Northern Circuit: (1988)

Ketetahi Shelter, Tongariro NP

Waihohonu Hut No. 1, Tongariro NP (1890's- )

Waihohonu Hut No. 2, Tongariro NP (1960's-2000's)

Oturere Hut, Tongariro NP

Mangatepopo Hut, Tongariro NP

Whanganui River Journey: (1989)

John Coull Hut, Whanganui NP

Downes Hut, Whanganui NP

Heaphy Track: (Various 1989-1994)

Brown Hut, Kahurangi NP

Aorere Shelter, Kahurangi NP

Perry Saddle II, Kahurangi NP

Old James McKay Hut, Kahurangi NP

Saxon Hut, Kahurangi NP

Lewis Hut, Kahurangi NP

Heaphy Hut III, Kahurangi NP

Abel Tasman Coastal Walk: (Various from 1993-2021)

Wharewharangi Wardens Hut, Abel Tasman NP

Wharewharangi Hut, Abel Tasman NP

Totoranui GW Shelter, Abel Tasman NP

Awaroa Hut, Abel Tasman NP

Onetahuiti GW Shelter, Abel Tasman NP

Bark Bay GW Shelter, Abel Tasman NP

Bark Bay Hut, Abel Tasman NP

Anchorage Hut, Abel Tasman NP

Anchorage GW Shelter, Abel Tasman NP

Anchorage Wardens Hut, Abel Tasman NP

Marahau Shelter, Abel Tasman NP

Paparoa Track: (2021)

Garden Gully Bivouac, Roaring Meg Ecological Area

Garden Gully Hut, Roaring Meg Ecological Area

Ces Clarke Hut, Roaring Meg Ecological Area

Croesus Top Hut, Roaring Meg Ecological Area

Moonlight Tops Hut, Paparoa NP

Paparoa Track Emergency Shelter, Paparoa NP

Pororairi Hut, Paparoa NP

Pororairi River Workman's Hut (removed 2020), Paparoa NP

Milford Track: (2019)

Glade House, Fiordland NP

Clinton Hut, Fiordland NP

Hirere Hut, Fiordland NP

Bus Stop Shelter, Fiordland NP

Pompolona Lodge, Fiordland NP

Old Mintaro Hut (replaced 2021), Fiordland NP

McKinnon Pass Shelter, Fiordland NP

Anderson's Cascade Shelter, Fiordland NP

Quinton Day Shelter, Fiordland NP

Historic Quinton Hut, Fiordland NP

Quinton Lodge, Fiordland NP

Dumpling Hut, Fiordland NP

 Boatshed Shelter/Hut, Fiordland NP

Giant Gate Shelter, Fiordland NP

Sandfly Point Shelter, Fiordland NP

Routeburn Track: (2020)

The Divide Shelter, Fiordland NP

Howdon Hut (removed 2021), Fiordland NP

Kepler Track: (2021)

Brod Bay Shelter, Fiordland NP

Luxmore Hut, Fiordland NP

Forest Burn Shelter, Fiordland NP

Hanging Valley Shelter, Fiordland NP

Iris Burn Hut, Fiordland NP

Rocky Point Workcamp Hut, Fiordland NP

Rocky Point Shelter, Fiordland NP

Moturau Hut, Fiordland NP

Shallow Bay Hut, Fiordland NP

Rakuira Track: (2020)

Maori Beach Shelter, Rakuria NP

Port William Hut, Rakuria NP

Rakuria Track Biodiversity Hut, Rakuria NP

North Arm Hut, Rakuria NP

The photos here show all the Great Walk huts I have actually been to including those on a Great Walk but not necessarily a part of the hut network on that track. An example would be Croesus Top Hut on the Paparoa is right on the route of the track but not used as overnight accommodation by Great Walk trekkers.