Not Far from Thar (Part Two). A-Frame Hut

“On a Mish” #69 Not Far from Thar (Part Two). A-Frame Hut. Hakatere Conservation Park. 20.5.2015. The owner of the ski shop I worked at thought I was mad going to the places I would go without a gun or bow. Being not far from Thar, Chamois and Deer, and not having a way to shoot them seemed crazy to him and many others just like him. I guess I don’t have the killer instinct, plus I’d rather see an animal wandering its own environment than remove it from its home via a bullet and then a ton of effort. I love wilderness pictures over propelled projectiles and on my mish to the A-frame Hut my camera was firing shots in every direction…

As I stood at the top of Turtons Saddle I took in the view, and I caught my breath. What a place, what a view! A hike to the top of the saddle would be an excellent day out in its own right. But I didn’t lug all of this gear up here just to take in the view, so I pushed on into the Turtons Stream Valley in the direction of A-Frame Hut.

The valley Turtons Stream flows through is gently sloping in a southerly direction and contains two huts, A-Frame Hut, and Comyns. It’s a couple of hours to A-Frame and that was as far as I wanted to go that afternoon. The sun was moving the shadows quickly towards the hut, and I could feel the drop in temperature as the light left Turtons Valley. I got some extra layers out and prepared my gear and myself for a meal and then chill out at the excellent little hut.

I hadn’t been at the hut for very long when I was startled by another human. I hadn’t seen anyone behind me so this fella must have powered his way up at a great rate of knots. We had a brief chat which of course involved hunting and the location of the animals to shoot. I offered to move my gear to make room for him in the little hut but he kindly declined the offer and said he was happy to hike on to Comyns Hut. I wished him the best and good luck with the hunting and then I was alone again.

The evening flew by and when darkness took over, I retreated to the warmth of my sleeping bag and the shelter of the A Frame. Early-ish the next day I was up and off reluctantly as I needed to get back to town for an afternoon shift at the ski shop.

I made my way back along the track and, like so many, hiking it in the opposite direction made it seem like a completely different track. I could imagine Te Araroa Trail hikers and also early explorers getting to this point and looking down at the Rakaia River and wondering how they were going to cross it. I didn’t have this issue and it didn’t take me long to get back to the car and the end of my mish.

I highly recommend a mission up to Turtons Saddle and then, if you have the time, a night in either the A-Frame or Comyns Hut. The place is great for both hunters and hikers, and whether you shoot with a gun, bow or camera, there is a high chance (depending on your luck and skill) you’re going to hit what your aiming at!

Standing on Turtons Saddle looking down at the Rakaia River

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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