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Boo Boo Hut

Boo Boo Hut

(Boo Boo Hut: Photo Andrew Buglass 2015)

Maintenance status

Boo Boo Hut at last report was to be minimally maintained, then replaced at the end of its life with a structure located midway between its current site and Pinnacle Biv. The Boo Boo and Pinnacle Biv tracks were recently removed from DOC's maintain list, so I'd say the hut replacement is less of a certainty now. In the meantime the Permolat Group has taken over the maintenance of these two tracks, and the tracked sections from Boo Boo to Crawford Junction.


Kokatahi catchment. Map BV19. GPS Ref: E1452973/ N5245567. Altitude 594m. Boo Boo Hut is located in the rata belt on the bush faces above the TL of the lower Kokatahi valley. Its name originates from a cocked-up food drop at a deer culler's camp here in the early 1950's. Apparently the entire supply of tinned cheddar for the camps in the Kokatahi, plus the district's allocation of 128 tins of raspberry jam, were mistakenly air-dropped there. Boo Boo Hut is starting to get a bit more traffic now the word is out that the track is being looked after. It received 15 visits in 2015. This year it already had 40 visits by mid-November. Its sunny aspect and woodburner make it a great year-round overnight option.

Boo Boo location


Head up the padlocked farm trail that turns off the Toaroha valley access road just before the Kokatahi Bridge. Terry Sheridan is the farmer and it pays to talk to about access. Follow the trail through the paddocks to the River, then boulderhop to a larger grassy flats further upstream. The track enters the bush at the top of this and follows the TR of the Kokatahi to the Whakarira Gorge. The view of the Gorge from the bridge is stunning and well worth a visit in its own right. Debris was found found on the hand rail in 2011 and gives an indication of how high the River can get after heavy rain. The track sidles above the TL of the gorge from the bridge, then drops back to the riverbed at Adamson Creek. Follow the riverbed for 200m stretch then re-enter the bush. The track climb/ sidles from here up and around the bush faces to the Hut. There are a few steep bits, but most of it is a fairly steady affair. Allow 3-4 hours currently to get from the roadend to Boo Boo. I took the brush bar up there in March 2017, so the track is now in the best shape it's been in for a few years.

A small clearing at the Pinnacle Biv turnoff, five minutes before the Hut, provides helicopter access.


Boo Boo Hut was in the first batch of NZFS 4-bunk S81 designs that were built in 1959. The original structure had an open fire and perspex windows. A woodshed and covered porch were added and the Hut and lined in the early 1980's during Lands And Survey's tenure of the valley. The fireplace was removed and replaced with a Little Cracker wood burner in 2012. There is a toilet, and water is from the small creek next to the Hut.


Boo Boo had some of its joists bearers and piles replaced at some point, I'm not sure when. In 2004 DOC repainted the Hut and cleared a bit of the scrub around it. More scrub was cleared in 2016' In 2012 more exterior painting was done, the clearlite on the roof was replaced, and the woodburner installed. The Hut is super cosy now with the burner going, although the knob on the damper has already vanished. Some of the regenerating bush on the NE side of the hut site was cut back. The Hut floor remains uneven despite the repiling work and bearer replacement. Mitchell Everly replaced a broken latch on the North window in 2017. The latch is on one side, and there really needs to be one on the other side as well to secure the window properly. The sill beneath is rotting however and will need replacing at some point. There is a small leak in the centre of the porch roof where the studs meet. There is a rust patch on the external wall above where the porch meets it. The external iron cladding on the South end is streaked with algae.


Official maintenance of the tracks from Boo Boo to Crawford Junction Hut ceased sometime in the 1980's. In the ensuing years the route achieved considerable notoriety, with accounts aplenty of tramping epics in the Boo Boo and Crawford Junction hutbooks. Permolat volunteers re-opened the track from Boo Boo to the Twins 3-wire in 2005 and it was re-cut with a brush bar and marked as far as Pinnacle Creek in May 2017. The section from Pinnacle Creek to the Twins 3-wire was recut with hand tools. The last section from the 3-wire to Crawford Junction, which is primarily river travel, had all its bush detours recut and marked in November 2017. From Boo Boo Hut the track climb/ sidles across the bush faces well above the Kokatahi for a half hour to some dry rocks. The larger and more weatherproof of these is 20m uphill from the track, but unfortunately there is no convenient water supply. The track then descends in a series of steps, angling towards the River. A steep gut around the 400m contour (Grid Ref: E1453517/ N5244218) provides access down into Pinnacle Creek. Once in Pinnacle Creek, follow the cairns upstream for around 200 metres, then exit on the TR and head up over a narrow eroding rib into Alice Creek. The track crosses Alice Creek and heads up the ridge between Alice and Meharry creeks. It crosses Meharry Creek and climbs a steep bank onto the terrace and clearing where Twins hut used to be. The track drops steeply from here down to the three-wire and crosses to the TR of the valley. Allow 1.5 hours currently from Boo Boo to the 3-wire.

It is rough river travel with large boulders from here to just above Blue Duck Creek. There are a number of short bush bush detours to negotiate large boulders or rock outcrops, all of which have now been cut and marked. Above the Blue Duck the valley opens out and it is easy river flats to Crawford Junction. The Crawford River can usually be forded in the vicinity of Crawford Junction Hut at normal flows. A swingbridge at the foot of Whitehorn Spur was removed in 2012, so the Boo Boo - Crawford Junction route is restricted to fine weather and low or normal river flows. Allow 2-2.5 hours from the Twins three-wire to Crawford Junction.

The Pinnacle Biv track starts at the top of the helipad, five minutes downvalley from Boo Boo Hut (GPS Ref: E1452973/ N5245567). It is not marked on the latest topo map edition, but is well cut and permolatted to around the 830m contour and is easy going. The section above this has had work done on it by various Permolat people from November 2015 through to June 2016. It is marked with a combination of Permolat and cruise tape lower down, and just cruise tape higher up. There is still a fair bit of astelia and flax crowding the track in places in the sub-alpine and alpine zones, but the bigger stuff has been cleared back now, and the passage is relatively easy. The trackline follows the TL of a small creek initially, then heads straight up the montane faces eventually connecting with a broad spur at the tussock line. Poles and cruise-tape lead from here through the tussock and and a couple of bands of scrub towards point 1085m. The route sidles east just below point 1085m and crosses a scrubby gully onto a rib with exposed bare rock. The route continues up this rib, over point 1085m, drops into a dip then climbs the last section through another band of alpine scrub towards Crinkletop. Allow around three hours from Boo Boo to Pinnacle Biv currently, or 6-8 from the roadend.

When dropping from Pinnacle Biv down to Boo Boo Hut make sure you don't continue down the exposed rock rib East of point 1085m. The trail drops off the rib around E1452037/ N5244963 and sidles North across a scrubby gully. More than one party has missed the turn which is marked on a pole and continued down into the Kokatahi.

Repairs needed

Some of the Hut's floorboards may need replacing in the medium-term and the floor leveled. This is unlikely to happen if DOC is still committed to longer-term replacement plan. The inner western windowsill needs replacing and another fastener latch attached on the right of the frame. The rust patch above the porch needs attention, and more of the regenerating bush around the Hut needs clearing back. The external end wall needs a good scrub. The damper on the little cracker needs a replacement knob.

Provisions on site

A coal bucket, two brooms, a hearth brush, a fry pan, a medium-sized pot, a billy, two cups, a dish brush, a mouse trap, a plastic basin, a plastic bucket, a bowsaw, a shovel, a container of assorted and small flat-head nails, two axes, a grubber, a phillips screwdriver, and a small tube of sealant.