An Easy Stroll in the Rain – Boundary Creek Hut

“A Mish a Day” #118 Boundary Creek Hut. Hakatere Conservation Park. 14.6.2017. Being wet is temporary, memories last forever. So many people look at rain as being “Bad Weather” but for me the weather is just another part of the adventure. An overnight mission is easily found in Hakatere Conservation Park, and during June one year my old man Jeremy Wilson and I headed towards Lake Heron in search of an adventure.

The forecast wasn’t for clear skies, quite the opposite. Dark clouds hung over the mountains of Hakatere as we drove west. Luckily for us we had good gear, and were ready to take on whatever challenges the weather threw at us. It was raining heavily as Jeremy and I turned off the Hakatere Heron Road, and on to the 4wd track to the Paddle Hill car park. We didn’t fancy the chances of the trusty CRV getting to the end of the very rutted track, so we parked up and readied ourselves for the cold June rain. With snow falling higher up on the surrounding mountains, winter had definitely arrived in Hakatere. It was final gear checks before hoods up and into it. We braved the southerly head on to start with as we made our way over the final part of the 4wd track to the gate and start of the hiking trail at Paddle Hill Stream. From here the track heads west into a small valley, and then over a saddle that looks into the gravel braids of the Hakatere / Ashburton River. There wasn’t a lot of conversation, as we both had had our heads down to prevent the cold rain pelting at our faces. At the crest of the saddle we were lashed with the last of the wind and sleety rain, so we quickly descended towards Boundary Creek, and the dry safety of the hut. Looking into the upper reaches of the Hakatere / Ashburton River is a real treat, and from our elevated vantage point we could see the clouds beginning to lift. Just before getting to the hut the weather finally cleared, and thankfully this would be the last we would see of the rain. Both soaked but happy, we finished the last part of the walk with more and more mountains beginning to reveal themselves. The hut is a well maintained historic mustering hut with many stories to tell from reading the classic graffiti from past musters that covers the walls inside. This was my second visit, and I clearly remembered it having a very comfortable couch, which is extremely rare for a back country hut like this one. This time I was gutted to discover the couch was gone, possibly falling victim to the fire as wood for an ignorant lazy person/people? Apart from the couch missing, the hut was in excellent shape, and once the fire was going, provided a warm shelter from the cold June air outside.

An early-ish start the next day had us out into the cool frosty morning, and back up the track towards the saddle. On the way out we crossed paths with a hunter on a quad bike heading to the hut for a few days, and we had a classic middle of the track discussion about track and hut conditions. We bade farewell to the hunter, and continued on towards Paddle Hill Stream with a chilly light southerly breeze on our backs. On the last section over the 4wd track back to the car, we were very lucky to be treated to glorious views of the Taylor Range, which was a surprise benefit to parking so far from the Paddle Stream car park. Once back at the car we could finally take off our boots, still soaked from the day before. And then it was time to leave after another outstanding adventure into Hakatere Conservation Park!

The Taylor Range from the Paddle Hill 4wd Track

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter