Slipping and sliding to Cattle Creek Hut

We left the train station Friday at 5:45pm and headed towards the Wairarapa. Traffic was surprisingly good so we made good time as we travelled north to Ruahine.

We stopped in Carterton for an awesome meal at ‘Istanbul’ and then carried on to Dannevirke. The weather started to get worse with rain and wind as we drove north. Before we reached Dannevirke, we turned off towards Ruahine. After 15 mins of driving, we reached the parking area at the end of Tamaki West Road. We gathered our gear and headed to our camp site which was 200 metres and a river crossing away. We quickly put up our tents and got into our tents before the rain got too bad.

At 7am and with the weather looking better we got up, took our tents down, packed up the van and got ready for our tramp to Cattle Creek Hut.

We started with climbing to Traverse (A-Frame) Hut which was about a 600 metre climb.

Once there, we travelled along a 4 wheel drive track for an hour before descending down to our second hut, Stanfield. Due to the amount of rain that had fallen, some of our climbing and descending was made a little difficult and some of us (mostly me) had some great slips and falls.

At Stanfield Hut, we stopped for lunch. We then started on our way to our last hut, Cattle Creek. We went up river for about 400 metres which involved a few crossings so Maj-Britt showed us how to do river crossings in pairs. 30 mins later, we got to the track. After climbing 300m up the ridge we got to the top. We had some good views when the clouds allowed us and it wasn’t long after that we spotted the orange hut next to the river down below us.

We arrived at the hut around 4pm and due to the wind and rain, we were all a bit wet and cold. We started the fire and got the billy on to make some hot drinks. We had a lovely dinner of Lentil and Mushroom Au Gratin followed by a vegan chocolate cake that Maj-Britt made. After enjoying the Hut to ourselves, we went to bed around 9pm.

Morning came and with it so did the sun! After breakfast and tidying up, we got ourselves ready for our journey home. We started with climbing back up to the ridge to get our blood flowing. Once at the top of the ridge, the views were great. Unfortunately the wind made the morning pretty chilly so we kept moving after taking some photos and appreciating the view.

After climbing down to the river (this time with no slips!), we river crossed back to Stanfield Hut. From there we had intended to go along the river for another 600m before joining Holmes Ridge to take us back to the camp site. Unfortunately, we missed the track (not very well marked) so we decided to keep heading down the river (to Ed’s delight!). After numerous crossing and many bush bashing sessions later (2.5 hours’ worth), we sighted the Orange Triangle letting us know we have made it to the track by the campsite. By 1:30pm, we were back at the van getting changed ready for our drive home.

After a brief stop at Carterton, we were back home by 5:30pm.

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