Movies At Mistake Flat (Part One) – The Havelock Valley

“On a Mish” #370 Movies at Mistake Flat (Part One). Christchurch to Mesopotamia Station. Hakatere Conservation Park. 24.3.2023. For all his faults my cousin Adam is an ok dude… Just kidding, he is a bloody good bloke who somehow keeps on upping our adventures together. The trips we have been on have really helped me get through my injury battle and have been a way for me to still get into the outdoors while my legs were unable to do the job. After each outstanding outing I tell him “it is gonna be hard to beat this mish” and then off we go on another epic…

The first round of Covid lockdowns seems a long time ago now. With one text message EVERYONE in Aotearoa was sent home and had to stay there for many weeks. When the country was allowed to leave their homes, my cousin and I went on our first ‘Jimny Mish’.

The first of many missions was into the Havelock Valley. Since that trip Adam has grown an entire community of Jimny owners, and the Jimny Club has gone on many a mish in the mountains.

The large, rocky and remote Canterbury valley is a hunter’s haven and most weekends the place is alive with the sounds of trucks, dogs and guns. Most weekend warriors only get as far as the Growler Hut or just beyond, but with our immature ambitious minds we planned on getting much further up the valley. Although we didn’t get as far as first thought, we had definitely surprised ourselves with how far into the mountains the slightly modified Suzuki Jimny had got.

Now a few years and lockdowns later we were back but this time Adam had brought his modified monster, and I had brought my little monster (Ernie) and we were determined to get to the flats we were so close to last time. If there is one thing I know about my cousin it is that, once he sets his mind on a task, that task will be taken care of. We were going to get to the door of Mistake Flats Hut no matter what!

In the darkness of early-ish morning we gathered up the last of our gear and hit the road. Our first stop was at the petrol station in Rolleston for last minute food items, fuel and to link up with the other truck joining us on our mission.

Katie and her dog Sam are long time dedicated Jimny Club members, who have an awesome black Jimny (I don’t know if Sam paid for her half?) that has many modifications, but nowhere near as many as Adam’s beast.

With a red sky blazing over the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula we began our journey across the Canterbury Plains towards the Rangitata River and Mesopotamia Station. The change from flat to hills happens just beyond Peel Forest Village, and it is just beyond the village that we get into the type of country I dream about. I just hope my back and hip are going to be up to the challenge?

After a couple of twists and turns we got to a high point on the road and for the first time we could see up the Rangitata and also up the Havelock River, a river valley we were about to tackle. At this point we had no idea that, not only were we going to achieve what we had dreamed about since our trip a couple of years ago and get to Mistake Flat Hut, but we were also going to kick back and watch a couple of movies at the remote mountain hut as well!…

Wind picks up dust in the Havelock Valley

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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