Neil Ridge Circuit

As it is Anzac weekend I decided I would make a passing of Mt Hector where there is a war memorial  dedicated to trampers and mountaineers who lost their lives in world war two.

Saturday 25/04/2015
Late start as I needed to buy some items like food and gas and I had not realised the shops where closed till one o'clock. Short drive to Kiwi Ranch road DOC parking spot and off up the Marchant Ridge for a walk that will finish in the dark. Large amount of fruiting bodies out, been good weather for fungi. Saw one deer out on the Marchant ridge walking track.
Got my torch on at Block XVI for the last couple of hours in the dark and saw an interesting flat worm.
Colorful Worm
Alpha was not full and pleasant with the warmth from the fire.

Sunday 26/04/2015
Out of bed at seven and left the hut at eight, very windy conditions all the way to Hector. Stopped for a brief photo of the cross.
Mt Hector Memorial Cross
Then headed East to Winchcome Peak trailing three men and a dog who where heading the same way. We shared navigation in a couple of places where the clag made ridge choice tricky.
3 men and a dog
East to Neill
Looking towards Tararua Peaks
Once into the forest and the OT's its a nice up and down cruise over Neill to Neill Saddle and then up onto Cone. From Cone its all down hill to Cone hut. Getting close and I could smell lots of smoke and even see it. Had visions of a hut on fire, but no, it was just people cranking an outdoors fire with the green bits of trees. Breif rest for water and snacks and then on to Tutawai.

Stopped at Tutawai for food and drink and then decided that I might as well head home. So a nice evenings walk out to the car. No deer spotted.

Trip Times
Saturday 25/04/2015
1428 Left car at Kiwi Ranch car park
1802 Block XVI turn off
1905 Omega turn off
1914 Bullmound turn off
2012 Alpha Hut
Sunday 26/05/2015
0803 Left Alpha Hut
1023 Mt Hector
1445 Cone Junction
1617 Cone Hut
1626 Left Cone Hut
1709 Tutuwai Hut
1815 Left Tutuwai Hut
2005 At the bridge
2026 Smiths Creek Shelter
2228 Kiwi Ranch car park

Map of Travel 
Green Saturday, Pink Sunday

Alpha via Eastern Hutt

An Easter trip with an over night stay in the valley of no over night stays, was meant to be more but shit happens.

Thursday 02/04/2015
Drove to the Kaitoke Regional Park and went up the Norbett Creek route, at the top could see some sunset.
Sunset from top of Norbett Creek route
Down the four wheel drive track and into the Eastern Hutt river and on up to the hut with no name in the dark. Saw a couple of eels out cruising and got a photo of one,  even managed to pat it on the head before it took off.
Eel in Eastern Hutt River
 Further on up in the river flats we could see the moon behind a tree.
Moon in the tree
Stayed the night at hut with no name as we could not see where we where going, was a pleasant walk.

Friday 03/04/2015
Walked out of the hut with no name and up to the junction of the Quoin and Hutt River.

Hut with no name (Eastern Hutt Hut)
And found this deer head in the river, so put into the trees as someone may want it.
Deer head
We took the Northern Spur that goes thru forest on the way to Alpha.
Out into the open with good views.
View out of the bush
Cairn Tree
More view
Closer to Alpha
Paul on the ridge
On the top watching the clouds roll in
Got to Alpha hut before 2.00pm, with no intention of going anywhere, collected firewood for the future. No body else there until 1830 when a couple arrived and then on dark a family group.

Saturday 04/04/2015
Left Alpha Hut about 0930 and headed back down the spur to hut with no name in the Easter Hutt river and got there before one. We where hit by strong wind that was pushing us around between the exposed bit on the tops from Alpha hut to Alpha.
Heading down the ridge almost into the bush
Marker type before OT
Some light dark view
Had a wander around and explored the area, then collected firewood for the future guests of this tidy hut.

Sunday 05/04/2015
We left the hut with no name and with the ok weather so we decided to go down the gorge. Hoping it was interesting. Passed a few large trees horizontal in the river.
A dark look
The forest
Dacrycarpus dacrydioides
Dacrycarpus dacrydioides
Dacrycarpus dacrydioides
We stopped for a snack and after we made sure all our stuff was nicely in our dry bags water tight. Off into the gorge.
Start of gorge
Small waterfall and pool - most interesting bit
Rock channel in the gorge
Gorge walk
Gorge walk
Shallow shingle pool
Gorge walk
Smoking lounge
Gorge walk
Almost out
Swing Bridge
Its a nice gorge with no pools to swim, one small waterfall into a pool is the closest it comes to being interesting.

Trip Times
Friday 03/04/2015
1820 Left car at Norbett Creek track
1902 On the four wheel drive road
1934 At bottom of four wheel drive road
2041 In the river
2222 At Hut with No Name
Saturday 04/04/2015
0930 Left Alpha Hut
1251 At Hut with No Name
Sunday 05/04/2015
0829 Left Hut with No Name
1000 At the start of the gorge, stopped for a snack time.
1158 At the swing bridge
1207 Start ofthe four wheel drive track
1241 Norbett Creek turn off
1305 At car.


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