The Red Hills – February

The Red Hills, Richmond Ranges By Nigel

With a forecast of fine weather three of us left Masterton optimistic that we would be lucky. Our first day’s walk started at the Inwood Lookout, at 700m, it was then climb to 1500 on the Gordon Range, rather warm on a hot sunny day. We arrived at Hunter’s Hut to find it empty.
Next day we had a local walk, up the hill behind the hut, to take in the views and, as it happened, pull out 30+ wilding pines, we left at least as many too big to pull out. That night we were joined by 4 Te Araroa walkers in the hut, walking past 2 sometimes 3 huts each day!
Friday, we were off to Porter’s Creek Hut, a number of saddles to climb up and over, and a few slips to sidle over where the surface was breaking up with the number of walking poles loosening up the scree. Just one TA walker with us in the hut that night.
Saturday was a walk largely in river valleys on the way to Red Hills Hut, some steep hills were a bit of a grind in the heat. The hut was quite full, two Hunters from Blenheim, and 2 TA walkers, two of us slept under a fly. That evening we had some light rain for a while.
Sunday we had a sort of rest day and went for a walk above the hut, nice not to have a heavy pack on your back. Monday we walked out to SH 63 along a 4wd track, we had hoped to hitch to St Arnaud, but ended up walking all the way!
A good trip in some new country for us.


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