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.
Ollie reports: ‘While the work on the biv itself was pretty straight forward, getting in there was the tricky bit! The heli landing site at Rocky Creek had been overgrown for many years, but thanks to some prudent flying by Fletch Andersen, we found a good drop-off spot up a side creek not far from the biv, and jogged back down the creek in time to receive our loads. First logistical obstacle accomplished!’
‘Over the next 48 hours the team wasted no time fitting a new roof, installing new PVC windows, and removing accumulated soil and vegetation around the biv perimeter to aid drainage.
'The biv interior also got a good clean and re-paint. The fresh paint, in addition to the new Clearlite, made a big difference.’
Last but not least was creating a heli pad – a much bigger job than anticipated! However there was no stopping Pete Braggins, who defied any suggestions he might be over the hill by slashing and chopping the re-growth into a much more civilised state. As an additional bonus, camping is now possible adjacent to the biv.’
‘A couple of weeks afterward, Al Ritchie headed back in with his daughters (aged 7 and 11) to ‘test drive’ the Rocky-Griffin circuit, and reported that it is indeed a great trip with nice achievable times between huts, and good tracks for the most part. Get out there and see for yourself.’
‘Plans are afoot for a group from the Canterbury University Tramping Club to renovate Griffin Creek Hut in 2023. That will mean both shelters on this nice little West Coast circuit are up to a good standard.’