Red Hills Hut – Sunday 23 April 2017
We made an early start, leaving Richmond at 7.30am. It was a clear morning but quite foggy through Golden Downs, only clearing when we got to Tophouse. The turn off to the car park is not well signposted, but we spotted it in time and managed to fit our cars into the quite restricted car park. We set off through the bush track with the first obstacle a creek crossing which tested those who wanted to keep their feet dry for the rest of the day. The bush track winds on for about a kilometre before coming out to a farm clearing, which boasts a superb early settler cobb cottage and another derelict farm house. The cottage is well worth a visit, as it’s still intact, yet the construction materials are in full view. We speculated on just how many children would have been born and raised here. I don’t know anything of the history of this cottage but it would be interesting to find out.
From here we walked up the track that leads to the hut. It’s a nice vehicle track but sufficiently overgrown to give the impression that it’s a walking track. We reached the hut at 11.30am, which was too early for lunch, which encouraged everyone to carry on to the 1055m high point. It’s reasonably tough going from the hut as there is no real track, just a few poles then a number of creative cairns which are quite hard to spot. It was wet scrubby with hidden rocks underfoot. There were beautiful views down the Wairau and up the Rainbow. It was a beautiful day with no cloud and no wind and we enjoyed our lunch at the top with beautiful vistas right out to the sea in the north. From here we made our way back the way we had come, arriving back at the carpark at about 5pm.
Participants were Julian, Donell, Dale, David W, Colin, Alison, Lesley G, David S, Vanessa, Grant and newcomers Peter, Viv, Dave, Daniel, Diane and Peter W.