Gorge River Hut | Barn Bay to Big Bay coast route
One of the most important legacies of the famous 1973 track building expedition along the coast to start mining asbestos in the Red Hills. Two bulldozers and a couple of tractors smashed out a route before the mining company realised there would be little payoff after four months, and called them back. The hut and airstrip were built as a staging point. At that time the surprisingly adjacent hut now occupied by the Long family was already extant.
6 bunks, but this would rarely be full. About 40 parties travel along the coast each year, most stay a night or two, although as many arrive by helicopter now the airstrip has eroded by storms to the point of being unsafe.
Gorge River is potentially massive in flood and high tide, but can be forded at low tide. Robert Long leaves a canoe and rubber ducky together with paddles/oars each side to allow crossing at other times. If you whistle or shout loud enough he will come and pick you up if he is home. Robert and Catherine are hospitable and welcoming, just don’t overdo it, they have their own lives to get on with.
category . . . standard hut
hut fee . . . 1 hut ticket or backcountry hut pass, free to camp
elevation . . . 5 m
bunks . . . 6 in two bunkrooms
built . . . 1973, renovated some time later when wood burner added
heating . . . wood burner
water . . . tap above sink from 900 litre rainwater tank
toilet . . . longdrop← Garden Gully Hut | Croesus Track/Paparoa Track Grassy Flat Hut | Styx River →