When I set out this morning, the last to leave, Locke Stream was my ambition, I guess.

Somehow, with a shower coming down, I was thinking of whether I could cross the Hurunui River. It didn’t look particularly bad yesterday.

By the time I reached the hot pool I was thinking it was a now or never moment for Mackenzie Hut.

Just had the river to cross.

It looked semi-serious so I stowed all my electronic gear and waterproof bags inside my pack. I could always turn back if it was excessively strong current.

The current was strong, and the depth was over my knees, probably as deep as I’ve been through recently.

I’d walked upstream to find a better crossing point, in the riverbed were small boulders.

All good, I was across. Looked like Mackenzie it would be.

The track was surprisingly well marked. No confusion about where to go. Few people use the track, it went through some fully mossy/lichen vegetation. One of the prettiest tracks I’ve walked in recent times.

That’s what I was looking for. An actual track, not a bulldozed one, with clear markings, but not a lot of use.


I stopped for lunch in the forest. Little birdlife. A robin or two came for a visit. And a couple of rifleman.

After the morning showers the sun came out on occasion.

Not long after lunch I made it to the hut. I needed a shorter day after yesterday’s big effort.

I’m the first person to the hut this year, and it’s 18 January. I thought this was a popular hunter’s hut, but it doesn’t look like too many come here. The hut book goes back to 2005, and I recognise a few names.

I’ve just about ticked off all the DOC huts from the Lewis Pass to Harpers Pass now after visiting Top Hope and Jollie Brook. Just the Devils Den to go.

Oh, and the nearby Mackenzie Bivvy. Maybe I should go up there tomorrow, I wouldn’t need my pack, and then stay at Hurunui No 3 Hut.

Oh, the logistics of this trip. I’m slowly working out where I’m going.

I just need a few days of good weather for a change.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Mackenzie Hut

Fine hut in a fine valley. Not so hard to get too either. | Mackenzie  Hut, Lake Sumner Forest Park
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