McArthur Range, West Coast – March 2023
The McArthur Range is a typically rugged West Coast range, situated north of the Arahura River, and west of the Taipo Valley. Two bivouacs grace its tops; the Lower Olderog and Top Olderog. The latter recently got an extensive overhaul, thanks to funding from the Kaimahi for Nature (Jobs for Nature) scheme, and orchestrated by the Backcountry Trust’s energetic Ollie Clifton.
The team included Permolat legend Andrew Buglass, machine-efficient Al Ritchie, and Liam Hall.
Kahurangi National Park, Nelson – February 2023
Kahurangi’s Tableland has long been a place that enchants people with its rolling tussock landscapes studded with pockets of beech forest. Balloon Hut lies on the edge of one such beech enclave. The first hut here was an old miner’s one, built in 1909, which was replaced in 1963 with the existing hut. In 1995 the Waimea Tramping Club renovated the hut in preparation for the opening of Kahurangi National Park the following year. The club own and maintain the facility with the help of DOC.
Balloon Hut recently got some much-needed attention, thanks to some funding from the Kaimahi (Jobs) for Nature budget. The work was orchestrated by the Backcountry Trust.
West Coast – December 2022
Rocky Creek Biv lies in the headwaters of Rocky Creek, a tributary of the Taipo River east of Hokitika. A two-day tramp is possible using tracks and routes that connect Rocky Creek with the upper Griffith Creek, en route enjoying a stay at either Griffith Hut or Rocky Creek Biv. The area is famed for its incredible gorges and impressive canyons. The New Zealand Canyoning Association rates the canyon in Griffin Creek as ‘world class’.
In December 2022 a team funded by the Kaimahi (Jobs) for Nature scheme completed some excellent work at the bivouac over two action-packed days. The team included regulars Al Ritchie, Pete Braggins and Pete Sinclair, along with the Backcountry Trust’s Ollie Clifton.