Upper Wairau River Area, Marlborough – March 2021
Because of it spectacular location on open flats with views of the surrounding Raglan Ranges, a visit to Lees Creek Hut is definitely worth putting on your bucket list. The comfortable 4-bunk hut is reached on a fairy gentle 4-5-hour walk up Lees Creek, a tributary of the upper Wairau River, accessible on the Rainbow Road, off SH63, near St Arnaud.
Lees Creek Hut was formerly located in Sandfly Stream, 10 kilometres to the north, before the Department of Conservation relocated its to present location in 1993.
In early March 2021 the Ultimate Descents team – Tim Marshall, and builder Ru Kraal, Sonny Jowsey and Jayden Flannigan – went in for five days, funded by a grant from Kaimahi for Nature.
The team replaced an aging pot-belly stove with a new Wagener Sparky Woodburner, erected a new woodshed, and also lifted the roof to replace the building paper, built four new bunks, and gave the hut a full paint inside and out.
This was the team’s fifth hut renovation over the summer as they continued to get through a lot of the backdated maintenance in the DOC St Arnaud operational area (see blogs for Bobs, East Matakitaki and Begley Huts).
Much of this maintenance is at the lower priority end (priority 3) in the Nelson Conservation Management Strategy. The work done by the Ultimate Descents Team over the summer has demonstrated that with the injection of just a small amount of KFN funding in the right place, it is possible to lift the overall achievement of goals in the region's CMS.
Thanks Ultimate Descents' KFN team for another quality restoration!