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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, and the access tracks to it from the Taipo valley and Griffin Creek, although not officially maintained, have been kept open by volunteers. The more direct route up from the Taipo bridge on SH73 is currently in good condition, while the route over from Griffin Creek is overgrowing and needs work done on it.

Location

Taipo catchment. Grid Ref: E1469915/ N5261720. Map BV20. Altitude 615m. Rocky Creek 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 readily available route information. Visits have increased since the tracks were fixed up and the Biv profiled on this website. A lot of the folk visiting Rocky are doing a two-day circuit over a low bush saddle to Griffin Creek and out via the Harrington Creek track to SH73.

Access

The Rocky Creek track from the Taipo roadend ceased receiving official maintenance 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 in recent years. Eigill Wahlberg recently reinstated the Rocky Creek bypass tracks and did some windfall clearance across the terrace from the Taipo. Frank and Honora were in giving it a tidy up again in September and the track is in good shape currently. The route commences at the Taipo bridge on SH73 and follows the TL of the River up for 1/2 an hour. A cut track starts at the top end of a grassy terrace, 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. The track drops into Rocky Creek at an active slip just upstream of a small gorge and from here it is mostly in creek travel, fording where appropriate. Two short sections of track lead around a waterfall and a slumped area of hillside above a small gorge. The entrance to track up to the Biv is marked by a large cairn just past a large tree-fall across the Creek. The track 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 have been busy in here this year but there are still a couple of bits that are overgrown that they intend finishing off this summer. 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. The track entrances were cleared by Frank and Honora in December 2014, and they also cut the track in the head of the creek to within 400m of where the track exits and climbs up to the bush saddle. It is around 10 minutes up to the Saddle from the streambed. The track drops directly down into Rocky Creek and from here it is around an hour's creek travel down to the Biv. Frank and Honora have cleared all overhanging growth and marked and taped on this section. The stream Permolat and a cairn mark the entrance to a short section track that leads up onto the terrace where the Hut is located. Allow around three hours from Griffin Creek Hut to Rocky Creek Biv.

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. In 2013 Glenn Johnston cleared some of the toi toi in the clearing next to the Biv.

Routes

The saddle over into Griffin Creek is around an hour's boulderhopping up from Rocky Creek 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

None at last report.

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.