This site is provided and sponsored by OnlineGroups.net where groups can collaborate easily using email.

Waikiti Hut

Waikiti Hut

(Waikiti Hut: Photo Glenn Johnston 2009)

Maintenance Status

DOC made a decision in 2004 to seek a maintain-by-community agreement for Waikiti. It was painted in 2005, reconditioned in 2009 and had the track cut in 2009. Craig Benbow of Permolat has since committed to maintaining both hut and track and intends doing a project in 2017.

Location

Ahaura catchment. Ref:NZTM2000 E1504626/ N5281361. Topo50 Map BU21. Altitude 445m. Waikiti Hut is located on a flat midway up the TR of the Waikiti River, which is a major tributary of the Ahaura River. Prior to the trackwork in 2009 the Hut was receiving extremely low numbers of walk-in visitors, and had largely become the preserve of fly-in hunters.

Access

Access up the Waikiti valley starts from the road bridge on the TR of the River. It follows the TR for 1.5–2 hours then crosses a swingbridge to the TL. The entire route was cruise-taped in September 2017 and had some of the windfall and branches removed. The TR section is still pretty good going. The TL section is a bit more overgrown, there is a bit more windthrow, and there are some active slips to negotiate, the last of which is possibly worsening. Fording back to the TR below the Hut is easy at normal river flows. Allow around six hours currently from the roadend to the Hut. Birdlife in the valley is quite abundant and kaka can be heard there.

The overgrowing flats provide helicopters access, and there was once an airstrip here.

Type

Waikiti Hut is an NZFS six-bunk SF70 design with an open fireplace, built in the 1960’s. There is an interesting wood-constructed toilet 50m from the Hut. There is water 30m from the Hut.

Condition

The Hut was painted inside and out in 2005. It was reconditioned by DOC in 2009, and at last report (September 2017) was in good shape. The fire hearth is in good condition and the flume is well constructed so as to avoid back drafts and smoky fires. The internal iron hearth surround is past its best-by and will be replaced by Craig when he does his maintenance. There is currently plenty of wood under the hut and also stored. Near the river is plenty of dead firewood.

Routes

There is an alternative route into the Waikiti valley via Crane Creek, the Rochfort Basin, and over a low saddle into Logjam Creek. Crane Creek to the Rochford Basin has always been quite overgrown, but markers are there. It gets a bit thick where it sidles at around the 550m contour to the 90 degree corner in Crane Creek. After this there are markers that head up on TR and cross to the TL. The original track swaps from side to side after this but is fairly overgrown. The Creek can be followed although there is quite a lot of windfall in it. You need to keep a sharp eye out for markers leaving Creek on its South side at around 660 metres, where a small clearing is depicted on the map. The route climbs an overgrown gully steeply until around 800 metres, then sidles past some swampy tarns in a trench to get to the western extremity of Rochfort Basin. The Basin is a bit swampy in places but OK. Near its top end there are markers through scattered bush and scrub leading up to a small tarn to the South. From the tarn head across to the Southeast to pick up markers for the old track down to Logjam Creek. This used to be marked, but is overgrown. Logjam does indeed have some logjams but can be followed for the most part. At normal flows the Waikiti River is easy to ford near the confluence with Logjam Creek. Allow a full day to get to Waikiti Hut using this route. Crane Creek Hut in Rochfort Basin is marked on the older topo maps, but burned down some years back.

It is also possible to access the Waikiti valley from the Trent River over an unnamed saddle ESE of Waitiki Hut. This is untracked but reasonable going and is also described in Brabyn’s guidebook. The creek that drains the saddle on the Waikiti side is wrongly marked on the map as entering the Waikiti upriver of the Hut. In reality it turns North after hitting the flat and meets the Waikiti downstream from the Hut. It route up is mainly creek travel with the odd detours. On the Trent side, the spur on the TR of the creek draining the saddle provides access down to the Trent River. It should be a comfortable day's walk to reach Waikiti Hut from either Tutaekuri or Mid Trent Hut for those used to untracked travel.

A saddle in the head of the Waikiti could potentially provide access over to Top Trent Hut depending on what travel is like in the upper Waikiti valley. The descent on the Trent side is down the broad spur on the TL of the creek that drains the saddle. The creek itself has three waterfalls in it, and should be avoided. Fording the Trent River at the bottom of the descent is OK at normal flows, and it's about 15 minutes from here down the track on the TR to the Hut.

Repairs

New iron hearth surround to be installed, 2017.

Provisions on Site

There are pots, a large plastic 50 litre water container, a stainless steel bucket, an aluminium wash basin, a dustpan and big broom.