Movies at Mistake Flat (Part Three) – The Havelock Valley

“On a Mish” #370 Movies at Mistake Flat (Part Three). Growler Hut to Mistake Flat Hut. Hakatere Conservation Park. 25.3.2023. My cousin Adam’s determination is evident in everything he does. He took up running and now runs marathons. He also brought a Suzuki Jimny and started to go on missions into the mountains with his old injured cousin. What started as two bros going out and having a laugh has turned into some of the most epic adventures I have been on. Now, many missions later we were back for revenge on a valley that hadn’t exactly defeated us (we still had an incredible time), but we didn’t get quite as far as we wanted…

Some aspects of an outing in the outdoors don’t sound very enjoyable when relayed in words to others. Carneys Creek is a part of the country that doesn’t sound fun to travel over, but the experience can really build character… Well that’s what we were telling Katie and her friend as we began to cross the rubble that was the most frustrating part of our last adventure here in 2020.

Carneys Creek seems to sit in the perfect spot for washouts and big boulders, and establishing a track through here is impossible. What at first looks like easy travel very quickly becomes a maze of sand, stones and everything but flat ground. We had the power of experience on our side and thankfully after a couple of false starts we managed to find a way through to the other side.

Above Carneys Creek we were back on a well worn track which took us past our old campsite from 2020. It was not too far from this point that we discovered that Carneys Creek wasn’t the only messy riverbed in this part of the valley. It was time to explore new territory.

Looking down the Havelock Valley from Mistake Flat

There were only two more rivers (plus their rocky riverbeds) left to cross and we still had plenty of daylight left. The first river was Murphys Creek, and to our surprise what looked as difficult as Carneys proved to be much easier to get through. We were high fiving each other and yahooing until we realised we still had another river to go. I have had these same highs and lows when climbing. You get below what you swear is the summit only to top out and see more ridge and more hard work ahead of you. It is all part of going ‘On a Mish’ and if it was easy then it wouldn’t be as satisfying.

Next was the Forbes River and the most challenging barrier to break through was the river itself. Although the crossing was only a couple of metres, the water had cut a deep trench and was running swift enough that it was hard to tell how deep it actually was.

As per the norm Adam went first, and after striking a couple of big nasty rocks we were on the other side. Katie is much nicer to her truck so after dropping me and Ernie off Adam returned to the other side to find a better way for Katie’s truck. The rocks seemed slightly less gnarly further upstream, and with careful caution Katie was through.

Elation filled the valley as we found the last section of track and followed it to the front door of Mistake Flat Hut. We made it here, will we make it back?

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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