South Temple Hut, Ruataniwha Conservation Area.

Location: Near Lake Ohau, near Twizel, South Canterbury.

Access: This is a classic Kiwi tramping – river bed, bush, scree, mud, streams. Plus two river crossings that can easily rise. Group aged 5-11 years plus Mums took 5 hours to walk in, including changing shoes after first river and lunch + snack stops. Only took 3.5hours out the following day which only included one snack stop (plus lots of snacks on the move, there’s a story 😉 ). DoC time is 3-4hrs so this was impressive going for the 5 year old 🙂

Hut features: This a 6 bunk hut with a platform bunk across the bottom and 2 top bunks. The hut space is relatively large for a 6 bunk hut. We had 3 adults and 7 kids in there without much difficulty but we were all from the same party. Woodburner which kept us warm, good woodshed outside which had plenty of dry wood when we arrived. Water supply is the river, about 50m from hut. Windows have fly screens.

NB: The river crossings would be the main issue to consider. They can rise due to snow melt as well as rain fall. The crossing near the carpark (Nth Temple Stream) will give an indication of river flows but the crossing at the hut (Sth Temple) is deeper and stronger so if it’s tricky at the carpark, it will be much harder at number 2. And of course, sandflies. They can be pretty bad. We hardly saw any but we tramped the days after unseasonably low snow so it was pretty chilly still.

Visited by: Waitati Adventure Group, October 2020