Galbraith Hut – Maungaharuru Range

Wednesday 3rd March 2021

From the Napier-Taupo Road to Waitara Road then to the end of Brooks Road and the start of our tramp to Galbraith Hut. Thanks to Waitara Station for permission to visit Galbraith Hut.

My description of the climb to Galbraith Hut as gentle climb has been brought into question. In hindsight and with the help of the topo map BH38 Te Haroto I calculate the climb to be a 220 metre ascent over 4.5 km. 

We had dairy cattle, predominantly jersey, in the first paddock we crossed. They were very curious when we first arrived and lined at the gate; as we made our way to the gate they backed off but once we were all through a number of them followed the last of our party up the road. In the second paddock there was Aberdeen Angus (they didn’t seem as interested in us). 

An hour up the well-groomed farm track we came to a set of double gates where the track branches into two; to get the hut it is necessary to take the right hand track. This is less worn and veers to the east. About five minutes from the hut we were able to see a grove of trees and the first building sighted is the outhouse. Minutes before the hut there is small stream to cross; this is possible without getting our feet too wet. Crossing gently gets water to the sole level of the boots. We were at the hut after walking for 1 ½ hours.

Galbraith Hut is an historic hut clad in corrugated iron and situated under the Maungaharuru Range. Inside the hut there are Weekly News 1950’s pictures of Princess Margaret and a young Royal family. Names of early users of the hut are carved into the facing above the fire place. The hut is well kept with a delightful polished hand rail made of Manuka. A number of the party said that they would be happy to spend a night in the hut. As a group we had lunch in and around the hut in an area out of a chilly wind. 

Perhaps it was after a trip to the extremely clean long drop that members of the group noticed the abundance of mushrooms. From then on it was a group foraging.

On the return trip to the truck we were able to enjoy the vistas presented of the Mohaka River valley and a reserve of mature native trees. The Taraponui mast was viewed in the distance from the hut.

This trip, with at times a chilly but refreshing breeze, was a pleasant way to enjoy a day that was forecast to be 30°C in Hastings . We had 14 in the party, 8 of whom were picked up in Taradale. Welcome Carol on her first tramp with the club. 

Party: Christine H, Rodger B, Barbara P, Janice L, Marion N, Susan L, Carol C, Christine S, Alan P, Lynn W, Des S, Graeme H, Anne C, Anne D.

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