Marlborough huts and bivvies
There are a fair number of huts or bivvies scattered through the Marlborough hills.
Some are from the New Zealand Forest Service animal control days, some are musterers’ huts. A few have been built more recently by DOC for recreational purposes.
Most are relatively little used, people haven’t yet seen the advantages of walking in the region, ie, generally dry weather, fewer trampers than some other areas, the generally good quality of the huts, and the easy-ish walking.
Here are some of the region’s huts . . .
In the 1970s it was done up, including the pouring of a rough concrete slab, and adding mud between the timber slabs, but is now in only average condition.
While it might be used on occasions in an emergency, Warden Hut is only a few metres away and is very much more comfortable accommodation.
It’s in surprisingly good condition, considering that it is possible to drive a four-wheel drive to the front door.
Very compact, but reasonable accommodation for two.
Forbes Hut is on a river terrace above the Clarence River, in a cattle paddock, so might not be obvious to those passing by while seated in their kayak, or raft out on the river.
It’s a 14 km trudge up a flattish four wheel drive track to the 1976 Greigs Hut.
She’s decrepit. Wouldn’t want to stay there.
Refurbished when the base hut structure was relocated from down the valley at the Tummil River junction.
An interesting variety of cladding on the exterior: flattened kerosene tins, corrugated steel, and some vertical timber slabs.
Now a very comfortable hut, except there is no water tank and if the very small creek near the hut is dry, it is a long walk down to where there is a good flowing stream.
Molesworth Cob Cottage campsite is where you join those in vehicular transportation, and pay for the privilege.
Seems climbing Mount Fyffe is A Thing these days, and some prefer to stay in the hut somewhat near the top to enjoy the sun rise over the Pacific from on high.
Not many visitors here, and half of them seem to be hunters dropping in by chopper for a few days stay. The hut, therefore, is in good condition.
Not great for those in a tent, who at least get some grass.
Saxton Hut is a recent addition that can be used both on the East West route, and the Leatham/Molesworth route.
This hut is used extensively by fly fishermen who spend their days patrolling the nearby Wairau River and various small lakes, and nights, err, drinking and talking about their day.
Occasionally hunters come and stay for a few days which bumps up the bunk night figures.
Team Hut is an example of a musterers’ hut from back in the day.
Tent Poles Hut is a classic station hut, that once accommodated ten people in bunks.
Top Gordon Hut is in a sunny location with a reasonable outlook, although aren’t those all conifers up there on the north side of Gordon Stream?
Used by recreational hunters, and those on the Leatham/Molesworth route circuit.
For those who have just trudged over Blind Saddle this is a splendid place to spend a comfortable night.
At the site of the restored historic 1866 cable station.