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Hut and Track News - June 2015

posted Sep 13, 2015, 5:00 AM by Robert Wopereis   [ updated Sep 13, 2015, 5:02 AM ]

Kahurangi National Park

Upgrade work on the Heaphy Track between Perry Saddle and Gouland has been completed. There has been steady use of the track for mountain biking in May, especially on weekends.


The wood burner at the Upper Gridiron Hut has been removed due to its poor state and dangerous condition. There is currently no heating provided inside the hut, although a fire pit is located just outside the hut.


The historic Kill Devil Track is to be improved after suffering erosion damage, particularly from extreme rainstorms in recent years. Golden Bay Mountain Club members have started work to repair the damage and to improve drainage to reduce further damage.
The remedial work will be carried out over three years in conjunction with the Department of Conservation.
The club is being granted $61,500 by the NZ Outdoor Recreation Consortium to fund the repair work.
The work will make the track both better to ride and for trampers to walk on.
The 18.7km track climbs from Uruwhenua Road to the top of the Lockett Range in 57 switchbacks and along the range and down to Waingaro Forks Hut and was developed in the late 1800s as a pack track for gold miners and is part of the Anatoki-Waingaro tramping circuit.
It can be ridden as far as Waingaro Forks Hut although advanced or expert mountain biking skills are required.


Drivers using the Graham Valley Road to access Flora carpark in Kahurangi National Park are asked to only use four-wheel-drive vehicles during winter because of the risks from an active slip. The road’s problematic slip spread debris over the steep road following Easter’s rains, closing it for about 10 days. The active slip has repeatedly moved in wet and stormy weather since the first massive slide in late June 2012 bought down 20,000 cubic metres of debris and closed the road for six months. About $800,000 has so far been spent on keeping the road open since 2012. DOC, Tasman District Council and Fulton Hogan are keen to keep the road open, and on the positive side it seems as though the slip is stabilising.


A new emergency shelter will be built on the north bank of the West Branch Matiri River this month. The building is being provided to encourage trampers returning from Lake Matiri Hut to wait before crossing the river when in flood. A few recent incidents have involved trampers needing to be rescued after attempting to cross the flooded river. The DOC shelter will be a basic structure without any facilities provided.


Abel Tasman National Park

Upgrading of the Wainui Falls track will start this month and is expected to be finished in spring. Five bridges will be replaced including the swing bridge.


Nelson Lakes National Park

There have been an increase in number of trampers and campers in the park over the summer and as a result, extra flights of firewood have been needed for many huts, to stock up before winter. Angelus Hut has often been full, right until the end of March.


All the high alpine routes of Waiau Pass, Travers Saddle and Angelus have been remarked with orange sleeves on waratah poles.


The construction of the new Buller Bridge on the Mt Robert Road is expected to be completed this month. The Lakeside Track carpark is being expanded and the fill removed is being used for the bridge approaches as well as fill from Paddys Track carpark.

Mt Richmond Forest Park

Mt Fell Hut was closed in mid-March 2015 because it had been found to be located on an active slip and is unsafe for occupation. This may affect trampers traversing Mt Fell and Mt Richmond.