Murphy’s Biv is one of a group of huts accessible up the Havelock Valley, and is a 1.5hr walk up Murphy’s Stream from the Havelock River. This standard S186 biv was built in 1965 and is a favored base for hunters, particularly in early winter for the early winter Himalayan Tahr season. Unfortunately the chimney had sustained some severe wind damage, in fact it had all but been completely flattened, leaving only the firebox base partially intact. Heating for this hut is integral to the hunting experience here so the decision was made to restore the open fire.
Mike Lagan of Geraldine applied for a small grant to do the work as part of Round 3 of the Outdoor Recreation Consortium funding. It would be the first of a number of projects Mike would take on in the local area.
On Easter Sunday 2016 Mike and Siobhan Lagan, along with Quintin McDonald flew in, followed by a sling load of tools and materials. The collapsed chimney was removed and work began to fix the damage, and carry out a general tidy up and maintenance round on the hut.
Work on the chimney continued on Monday morning, with some awkward work to reassemble the traditional tin panels onto the dexion and folded iron support structure. By the end of the day Murphy’s had a working fireplace again. They also managed get a coat of paint on, leaving the hut looking immaculate.
After the build and paint of the chimney was finished, the group moved to recut existing track from the Biv down through the scrub to Murphy’s Stream. They also cut a new track to the shingle clearing, almost 40m from the hut, that is used as a helipad for hunters that fly in from Mesopotamia Station.
On Tuesday the group cleared up and got the rubbish ready to be flown out. There were two sling loads to remove the old chimney bits and other rubbish from around and under the biv. Thankfully, the weather held out and the group completed around 72 work hours over 3 days, including cutting and maintaining around 100m of track.