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Rocky Creek Biv

Rocky Creek Biv

(Rocky Creek Biv: Photo Greg Ross 2013)

Maintenance Status

Rocky Creek Biv is designated as minimal maintenance. The access tracks to it from the Taipo valley and Griffin Creek have been kept open by volunteers. The most direct of these routes is Taipo one and at last report was in reasonable condition. The route over from Griffin Creek needs work done on it on at least one section.

Location

Taipo catchment. Grid Ref: E1469915/ N5261720. Map BV20. Altitude 615m. Rocky Creek Biv is located on the TR of Rocky Creek, which is a tributary of the Taipo River. The bush surrounds are rata-kamahi forest and there is pleasant deep-bush ambiance here. Rocky Creek Biv has historically been low-use, with numbers dwindling to a trickle during the 1980's and 90's due to the deteriorating tracks and a lack of good route information. Visits have increased since the tracks were fixed up and the Biv profiled on this website. A lot of the folk visiting the Biv are doing the two-day circuit up Rocky Creek over a low bush saddle into Griffin Creek and out via the Harrington Creek track to SH73.

Access

The Rocky Creek track from the Taipo roadend wasn't maintained after DOC took over from the NZFS in 1987. Frank King and Honora Renwick of Christchurch decided to make it their project and have carried out the bulk of the volunteer maintenance over the past years. Eigill Wahlberg has also taken an interest and recently reinstated some bypass tracks in Rocky Creek and did some windfall clearance across the terrace from the Taipo. Another group did some light trimming on the way through in April 2019. The route commences at the Taipo bridge on SH73 and follows the TL of the Taipo for 1/2 an hour. A cut track starts at the top end of a grassy terrace and crosses a small stream before climbing a short distance up onto the bush terraces. It sidles from here above the Taipo and around into the Rocky Creek catchment. There couple of new patches of windthrow on this section. The track drops into Rocky Creek at an active slip just upstream of a small gorge. Some fresh windthrow here may have taken out the start of the track, making it a bit difficult to locate from the creekbed. From here it is mostly in creek travel with two short track detours around a waterfall and a slumped area of hillside above a small gorge. The track up to the Biv is marked by a large cairn just past a large tree-fall across the Creek. It goes up a small side-creek for 50m, then exits on the TL and sidles around to the Hut. Allow 3-4 hours from the Taipo Bridge to Rocky Creek Hut currently.

Access to Rocky Creek Biv from the Griffin Creek catchment is over a low bush saddle. Frank and Honora and Merv Meredith did work on bits of this in 2015 and 16, although there is still one bit in the creek on the Griffin side of the saddkle that is overgrown. The route commences at the unnamed side-creek that drains Scottys Saddle, 15 minutes downriver from Griffin Creek Hut. A track goes up the TL of the creek a short distance, crosses to the TR, and sidles from here over into the side-creek that leads up to the Rocky Creek saddle. This creek forks in its mid section and a track exits the TR fork a short distance up and crosses over into the TR fork, to avoid a small waterfall. It is a 10 minute climb up to the Saddle from the streambed. The track drops directly from the saddle into Rocky Creek and the Creek is followed down from here for around an hour to the Biv. Allow around three hours from Griffin Creek Hut to Rocky Creek Biv. Honora is keen to do some more work on this route at some point.

A small clearing next to the Biv provides helicopter access.

Type

Rocky Creek is a one-off B143 high-stud design built in 1971. It replaced a tent camp on the other side of the Creek that had been established some time in the 1960's. The NZFS construction crew were Warren Keely, Tony Newton (Field Officer) and Mario Gerimia. The Biv is lined, but has no heating or toilet. Water is from the Creek 50m away.

Condition

Rocky Creek is well constructed and remained in good condition during a period of zero maintenance through the 1980's and 90's. In 2004 DOC resealed and painted it, replaced the door, and made a few other minor repairs. It is in relatively good condition currently, however here are two broken louvre panes in the window, and the opening lever has snapped at the fixture end.

Routes

The saddle over into Griffin Creek is around an hour's creek travel upstream from the Biv. It is visible from the Creek and has a large open slip on its northern side. The track entrance is 20 metres up the Creek past the slip.

Scottys Biv can be accessed from a route in the headwaters of Rocky Creek. Continue up past the Griffin saddle turnoff to where the Creek veers SE and climbs steeply up the faces of the Tara Tama Range. A number of small cataracts can be negotiated fairly easily, and the Creek forks further up. Take the TL fork which peters out on a steep scree. Climb onto the spur above the scree and continue up through a narrow band of low alpine scrub and across a rockfield towards the crest of the Range. The faces directly above this are very steep, and it is probably easier to sidle SW over a narrow ridge and then climb up onto the crest from here. From here it is a straightforward 20 minute drop in a SE direction to Scottys Biv, which is visible from near the top of the Range. Allow 2.5-3 hours from Rocky Creek Biv to Scottys Biv.

Repairs needed

Louvre replacement (2 panes) 67 x 14.5 cm. If anybody has some spare ones of this size we'd appreciate having them. More trackwork on the Griffin route.

Provisions on Site

One billy, a slasher, a large bow-saw, a shovel, a crowbar, a mattock, a jar of small nails, some red and white permolat, a hammer head, two long pieces of tongue and groove, a coil of fine wire, a broom, a galvanised bucket, and a brush and shovel.