Neill Forks Hut Again 27-28/08/2011

Third weekend in a row going to Neill Forks. This is a good walk from Holdsworth if you have not much time and still want a bit of exercise.

Saturday 27/08/2011
Left Wellington just after 1100 hours, so its a 1 hour 45 minute drive to Holdsworth road end. Headed off listening to music which seems to give me a faster pace? Stopped at Rocky Lookout for mental adjustment and it is a fine view out to the plains.
When I crossed the swing bridge just before Totara Flats hut I realised that again this weekend the river travel was out. The snow melt had it cranking bank to bank.
Got to the hut and the stack of wood I left in front of the fire how I left it earlier in the month. Hut book has my entry from the begining of the month as the last entry. Checked thru the book and see that some months its common for just two recorded visits. See a few moaners have been here over the years, those people complaining of the track condition and how there are branches on it and its hard to find at times. The answer to that is stay home. It was a relaxing evening with a fire and some nice 10 yo Ardbeg and a good book to read.

Sunday 28/08/2011
A lazy start to the day and didn't leave the hut till mid day, had a bit of scavenge for fire wood as I expect to be back soon.

River more relaxed on the way out.

Sayers Hut and Area

The weekend plan was to go with Adrian to Neill Forks hut and do more checking out of route down the Hector and over the Hector track. Didn't happen. The amount of snow gave us a slow trip in to Totara flats hut. Never intended to go to Sayers.

Friday 19/08/2011
Got to Holdsworth road end just after 1400 so it was looking like we would easily be at Totara Flats hut before it got dark. We headed off up the hill and hit the soft ankle deep snow and slowed right down.
Eventually got to Totara Flats hut and hunted up firewood so we could drink our beer in the warmth.

Saturday 20/08/2011
A lazy out of bed as some others turned up and we where sleeping in front of the fire. Decided we would wander without packs up Cone Ridge and check out the old track. Had some good views of the ranges up on Cone ridge. On our way back down we did follow the old Hector track for a bit and discovered that there are still markers. It will be a hard bush bash as the track has fallen into the river in places and the bush is short and tight.

Got back to the hut and more people arriving. A group of 14 having a stag party.  As each of the stag party members arrived they unloaded supplies from their pack and the table of alcohol grew.
This made some people sad and they did not want to be at Totara Flats hut anymore. So we wandered off to Sayers for the night.

Sunday 21/08/2011
A cold river crossing is a good way to get going for the day.

Trip Times
1439 Left Holdsworth car park
1621 Totara Flats turnoff Mount Holdsworth track.
1717 Totara Creek crossing.
1850 Totara Flats hut.
Walk Time: 4h11m
1003 Left Sayers.
1105 Old hut site.
1123 Swing bridge.
1129 High Ridge track junction.
1244 Totara Creek crossing.
1332 Totara Flats turnoff Mount Holdsworth track.
1504 Holdsworth car park.
Walk Time: 4h59m

Neill Forks Hut 06-07/08/2011

Exploring the Hector river has been an interest for a few years as I have never traveled from the Hector headwaters, that start below Mt Hector, to Neill Forks hut or from Neill Forks hut to the Waiohine river. So this weekend heading to Neill Forks hut to check out the walk down the Hector river then wander back to Totara flats hut where the old Hector Track went. I do not expect to find a track as its about 27 years since it was maintained.

06/08/2011 Saturday
Left Wellington Saturday morning and drove to Holdsworth car park then off to Totara Flats hut for lunch and cleaned up the rubbish someone had left. One more fish grew legs.

Totara Flats Hut
After a relax in the big empty hut headed off up the hill, looking for the old Hector track entrance. Did not spot it on the way up. Eventually got to Neill Forks hut where a party of four had arrived half an hour early. After a quick snack and before it got dark I headed off down the river to see what it was like. Cold and knee deep, I only went as far as the first bend. Think I will wait for summer to do the old Hector track or a nice hot day.

07/08/2011 Sunday
Had a sleep in at the hut which was very quiet after the four other trampers headed off. Gave the hut a tidy up and got some firewood ready for the next party.
Neill Forks Hut
After lunch headed off up the hill to Cone ridge. On the way down to Totara Flats hut spotted the following sign, which is probably where the old Hector track joins up. As why would a sign like that be there in the middle of a track section. Went for a walk on a very old and faded track for ten minutes, enough time to realise it is the old track.
Got to Totara and cooked some food and had a coffee. Two others where here. While eating,  a chunk of rain fell out of the sky. Cleared before I left. As I was walking up the hill towards Holdsworth track it began to snow.
Got to car just before eight, was starting to get cold.

Trip Times
0911 Left Holdsworth car park
1001 Rocky Lookout
1027 Totara Flats turnoff Mount Holdsworth track.
1057 Totara Creek crossing.
1159 Totara Flats hut.
1307 Left Totara Flats hut.
1457 Cone Ridge Junction, turnoff to Neill Forks hut.
1539 Neill Forks hut
Walk Time: 5h20m
1335 Left Neill Forks hut.
1450 Cone Ridge Junction.
1555 At old Cone Ridge sign
1612 At Totara Flats hut.
1711 Left Totara Flats hut.
1813 Totara Creek crossing.
1855 Totara Flats turnoff Mount Holdsworth track.
1915 Rocky Lookout.
1948 Holdsworth car park.
Walk Time: 5h14m

Map of Explore Area
Route to explore