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Hut and Track News - June 2014

posted Sep 30, 2014, 9:40 PM by Robert Wopereis   [ updated Sep 30, 2014, 9:45 PM ]

West Coast

A new track in the Paparoa Range has been proposed by DOC. The original idea for the Croesus Loop Track near Blackball came from the local community and the Croesus Track users. The proposed track would be a community project with support from DOC. For the project to go ahead it would need enough people to work on, or sponsor the track. Walking the whole Croesus Track requires arranging transport between the two ends. Currently many track users do a return trip from the Smoke-ho carpark at the Blackball end of the track up to the 16-bunk Ces Clark Hut. The proposal is to create a loop south from Croesus Knob to Mt Leitch and then down from Mt Watson back to Smoke-ho carpark. This would be an addition to the current route.


The Old Ghost Road has benefitted from a three-month volunteer campaign earlier this year. About 5500 volunteer hours were amassed in advancing the cycle trail construction 3.2km beyond Ghost Lake Hut. Also six new bridges have been built on the trail over Welcome Creek, Johnny Cake Creek, Limestone Creek, the Mokihinui South Branch, Stern Creek and a Stern Creek tributary. Only 15km remains to be completed of the 80km trail.


The Lake Daniell Track and the St James Walkway have been cleared of all windfalls since the April storm.


Kahurangi National Park

The troublesome Graham Valley Road to Flora carpark was closed again after storm damage in April 2014. The main damage to the road was a washout in the gorge at the site of the previous large slip. There were also other washouts further up the road. It is expected the road will be re-opened by Monday 30th June. The road had only re-opened in November 2013 after it was closed for the majority of the previous 16 months because of a persistent slip.


Construction of the new James Mackay Hut on the Heaphy Track began in April 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of September 2014. The existing hut remains open but will be removed once the new hut has been completed.


The Heaphy Track re-opened on Monday 5th May 2014 following the clearance of the worst windfall damage that any DOC Golden Bay staff can remember. In all, an estimated 500 trees were cleared from the track between Perry Saddle Hut and Brown Hut and the track was also re-benched and re-shaped in places. The work involved 16 DOC workers for 15 days.


The Wangapeka Track from the Little Wanganui Saddle out to the West Coast has extensive windfalls and that part of the track is closed.


Tracks still closed and likely to remain closed for some time are the Shakespeare Flat Track from the Heaphy Track to the Aorere River, also the track from Birds Clearing to Wainui Hut.


Abel Tasman National Park

DOC Golden Bay workers are clearing storm damaged tracks including the Rameka Track and the Inland Abel Tasman Track.


The new Anchorage Hut has been very popular with trampers, with 5000 bed nights since opening in November 2013.


Nelson Lakes National Park

Route marking with orange collars on snow poles has been done recently on the Waiau Pass and Moss Pass and this will also be done on Travers Saddle. The orange collars on poles are more visible than orange triangle markers on poles.


Relax Shelter on Mt Robert has been completely refurbished during March with new lining, two new windows, seating and a small stainless steel bench.


Nelson Lakes National Park suffered slight to severe storm damage during April 2014 in various places.

The Mt Cedric Route between Angelus Hut and Sabine Hut has damage from the 1000m contour-line to the tree line, limiting access and requiring off track navigation.

The Lake Rotoroa Route from Rotoroa Village to Sabine Hut has severe damage.

The track from D'Urville Hut to Morgan Hut also has severe damage.

The Big Bush Loop mountain bike trail is closed with severe damage at western end of the trail.


Mt Richmond Forest Park

The Pelorus Track has suffered storm damage with windfalls, mainly along the Bryant Range between Rocks Hut and Totara Saddle as well as between Totara Saddle and Roebuck Hut. The track is passable; however trampers need to allow additional time to walk the track.