Easter this year was spoiled for many prospective trampers by a series of storms that ravaged the mid-north West Coast of the South Island. Epic winds blew the roofs off buildings in some coastal towns and flattened widespread swathes of forest. The whole of Easter was a write off, and the outlook beyond looked patchy.
We’d been lining up a Garden of Eden trip, but due to the heinous weather flagged that plan and opted for our contingency idea: a pass hopping, mostly hut-based, trip up the Arahura Valley into the Hokitika Catchments and exiting via the Whitcombe River. It’s a journey that’s a mixture of tracks, tops travel and riverbed, and doable in wet conditions (as long as the rivers aren’t up), and traverses some spectacular country often immeditately west of the Main Divide. We started walking on Easter Sunday with the rivers still roaring and had a fantastic time; and despite rain most days it was a great (if not very wet) trip through some memorable and historic country. Click here for photos (69 images + captions)
Team: Mark Watson, Hana Black, Anna Pilbrow and Tom Riley.
Day 1: Arahura Road End – Mudflats Hut (6.5 hrs)*
Day 2: Mudflats – Browning Biv (6 hrs)
Day 3: Browning Biv – Crawford Junction Hut (8.5 hrs)
Day 4: Crawford Junction Hut – Top Kokatahi Hut (6.25 hrs)
Day 5: Top Kokatahi Hut – Top Toharoa Hut via Adventure Ridge (10.5 hrs)
Day 6: Top Toharoa Hut – Poet Hut (4 hrs)
Day 7: Poet Hut – Frew Saddle Biv (7.75 hrs)
Day 8: Frew Saddle Biv – Whitcombe road end (10 hrs)
*All walking times only, not accounting for breaks