Poor Etiquette at the Packhorse (Part One) – Packhorse Hut

“On a Mish” #158 Hut Etiquette (Part One). Packhorse Hut. Te Ara Pataka/Banks Peninsular. 10.7.2009. I think that many of us would love to have a back country hut to themselves. A private little getaway in the mountains for you to enjoy without the disturbance of others. Of course, this is only possible with the aid of luck, weather / season or if the hut is owned by a private company. Otherwise, there is a big chance you might bump into someone else on your journeys, and if you do you will need to know some hut etiquette to make sure you don’t cause issues for your new friends…

Working in tourism gave me a real appreciation for how stunning Aotearoa really is. People come from all over the globe to see what we have on offer, and for some, the opportunity to hike on tracks that aren’t covered in humans. To have a slice of paradise to yourself is a truly New Zealand backcountry experience and one that should be enjoyed. However, there are unwritten rules if you arrive somewhere and find out you are not alone.

Packhorse Hut

By 2009 I had been bitten by the outdoor bug and along with summers full of adventures, I also did my best to get out during winter months. I also dragged along others whenever I could. One tramper / victim that often comes out on missions with me is my father, Jeremy.

With settled weather visiting Christchurch for a couple of days my father and I decided to head into Banks Peninsula and spend a night at the Packhorse Hut. The hut is one of many dotted between Akaroa and Christchurch. Once used as resting points for weary travelers making their way over the hills and into the city, nowadays the hut is a well-used refuged for hikers to enjoy.

We grabbed our gear and thanks to the short hiking time to the hut, we left town near the end of the working day. The afternoon light was excellent to hike in and on arrival we discovered only one person in the two room, nine bunk hut. This was great as it would mean that our new friend could have one room, Jeremy the other, and then I would camp outside in my recently purchased tent.

As the evening rolled on, we wound down. The serenity of the environment was matched by an awesome sunset and as I headed out to my tent I thought about how lucky we had been with the weather and how few humans occupied the hut. This would all change just after the sun went down…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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