Back Basin Hide, Craigieburn Forest Park
This large two-person bivvy was flown in to accommodate chamois researchers from 1972 to 1980. They spent up to 2 weeks each month throughout the year and caught 300 chamois, then fitted colour-coded collars to find out their habits. Later they used radio tracking collars to more easily record where 10 individuals travelled, hence the large radio antenna. Once they left eventually the structure fell into disrepair, and the lack of water supply meant few visited.
Fortunately, Keith Green, with an occasional helper, visited in 2016 and decided on renovation with the help of the Backcountry Conservation Trust. This has been more or less completed with leaks fixed, painted inside and out, and the water supply sorted out with a recycled polythene pickle barrel carried up from Basins Hut, along with two new mattresses. (When you see where they had to carry those bulky items you will be amazed!)
Is a totally spectacular location, and quite a decent size for two. Note it is not a good idea to visit when the river is up, or rain imminent, as a gorge needs to be negotiated, and a dozen creek crossings are required.
To find: start climbing up the scree slope from the highly visible large orange DOC triangle at creek level. About halfway, 200 m up, transfer into the forest, this is well marked, and occasional orange markers indicate you are heading in the right direction, ie, up a steep, but sometimes indistinct ridge.
category . . . basic hut
hut fee . . . free
elevation . . . 1390 m
bunks . . . 2 mattresses in bunk
built . . . 1972
heating . . . none
water . . . from rainwater barrel
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