Howletts Hut   

22-23 January 2022

I first went to Howletts  Hut in September 1956 and 66 years later I was delighted to knock on the door again as an 81 year old. 

Our trip this time had options, two people departing Friday for a 4 day jaunt, seven on a normal weekend trip to Howletts and two to overnight at Daphne Hut. We had eleven people out enjoying warm, sunny/hot weather in the central Ruahine Range. The van left Havelock North just before 6am, arriving at the Kashmir Road car park at 8am.  We could not have had better conditions walking to the TukiTuki River where the river was shallow and warm.

The crew were ready for a long lunch stop at Daphne Hut. Ahead of us was the infamous Daphne Spur, which when tackled steadily and smoothly is not as daunting as its reputation.  I will admit out in the sun it was hot but we were delighted to be welcomed to the top at 4pm by Janice and Derek who had cleaned mattress’s where necessary earlier in the day.

I have still to meet a person who is disappointed on arrival at Howletts Hut, it is “a beauty” and everyone who has helped in anyway at Howletts is to be congratulated.  During the late afternoon, three young couples arrived two from Wellington and one from Palm Nth. One couple came over the Sawtooth and because of the crumbling rock said they would not be attempting that again. Simon put his tent up and we comfortably had fourteen inside for the night. 

Our plan was to be up at 6am and away by 8am returning via the tops and Otumore & Longview.  We were away by 7.45 as Janice & Derek very kindly offered to do our housework for us. A SW wind kept us cool and swept away a few clouds on the horizon as we cruised along the tops.. The petite alpine flowers were all around us.  The route was quite distinct with waratahs for guidance. Once our team were over the top of Otumore the wind died, it was hot and time for a lunchette in the tussock. At Longview Hut we stopped for a snack and a drink. 

It was then only a matter of dropping down to the road, a walk along the road to the van then home. But Des descended quickly and brought the van back to meet us part way along the road at a convenient turning place. Susan & Anne D who spent a night at Daphne were waiting at the van. A variable and satisfying circuit and I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend as much as I did. Thanks Des for driving. Thank You All for coming.    GRH

Party: Janice L, Derek B, Susan L, Anne D, Jude H, Paula K, Anne C, Simon W, Des S, Mark H, Graeme H

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