Te Araroa

24.3. Can we still make it to Hamilton Hut?

Finally being dropped off at the right place – Lake Coleridge – we continued hiking. We planned to camp somewhere in the bush but being told that the next hut named Hamilton Hut is supposed to be really nice, we hurried up and tried to reach it. Beating the dark can be a challenge though.

Many thanks to Jay who gave us a ride to Lake Coleridge!

Being dropped off at the right place now ?

We started walking along the gravel road and had lunch at a nice spot with some big rocks that were perfect to sit on. When we continued tramping, it didn’t take very long until a 4×4 car stopped that gave us a ride all the way to the trailhead.

Hiking on the gravel road ?

The DoC sign at the car park said 7h 15min to Hamilton Hut. It was already 3pm and we decided that we would just camp somewhere when we find a nice spot. The trail started very gently with a 4×4 track through farmland. I wasn’t very impressed when it started raining. We put our rain gear on and continued.

Starting hiking from the car park
4×4 track in the rain ☔

We had to cross several streams until we got to the River Junction. There we had to cross two bigger creeks. Just before another crossing we saw a 4×4 truck coming closer. We talked to the driver and he said that we might be still able to make it to Hamilton Hut and that this hut is really nice and worth to hurry up for. According to him Hamilton Hut is just another 1.5h away. It was already 6.30pm and we thought that we will give it a try.

It looked quite cool when the truck crossed the river without any problems although it was really deep

We had to cross the Harper River many times and it became more difficult with fading daylight.

River crossing with fading daylight

Timo suddenly slipped and fell in it ?. Luckily it wasn’t too cold and the rain had stopped. We tried to continue but by now we have already been walking for 2 hours and on the map it looked like the hut is still 3km away. Timo almost stepped on a dead deer when he was searching for the right track. We found a small meadow with flat grass next to the river and we decided it’s better to camp here as it took us forever to chase the trail in the dark.

As soon as we pitched the tent it started to rain again, so I guess it was the right decision to stay here for tonight and carry on tomorrow morning.