Image of the March 2015 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more articles from the
March 2015 Issue
Home / Articles / Waypoints

Classic West Coast circuit

Bluff Hut, perched high above the Hokitika River.
Area
Bluff
Time
4-6 days
Grade
Moderate
Access
Whitcombe River road end, Whitcombe Valley Road.
Map
BV19

Bluff Hut, Hokitika Catchments

 

Bolted to a sunny, rocky perch high above the Hokitika River, Bluff Hut is one of those perfectly located huts that makes a supreme location to while away an afternoon.

Deep in the backcountry, you’ll have earned your lounge ticket walking here: it’s a two- to three-day tramp, and one major pass from the road via the shortest route, over some reasonably rough country.

Bluff Hut started life as a culler’s hut, but was relocated to this, more stable, site in 2009 and virtually rebuilt in the process. It’s warm and well insulated from the weather.

Some spectacular and rewarding country is passed en route: the Whitcombe River, Frew Saddle and the upper Hokitika River makes the quickest route in, and it’s poled or marked most of the time. Onwards from here, the most popular circuit exits the ranges via the Mungo River, Toaroha Saddle and Toaroha Valley, making one of the most classic circuits in New Zealand backcountry tramping.

The hut itself is close to the Main Divide (another route here is via Mathias Pass), and has awesome views into the Mungo Valley and across to the Diedrichs Range opposite. Just make sure you get here with time to linger.

Mark Watson

Subscribe and save 61% for the first five months

$2.50/per month

Gain instant access to all stories, trips and gear reviews for the super low price of $2.50/month (normally $6.50/month) for the first five months. You’ll also get the Wilderness Wildcard, which offers discounts at more than 20 partners around New Zealand.

Just choose a monthly website-only subscription and use coupon code ‘2fifty’ to receive this special price.

Or view all our subscription options.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.

Discount applies to the first five monthly payments after which time the subscription price will revert to the current $6.50/month. Cancel your next payment at any time in your ‘My Account’ page. NZ subscribers only receive WildCard.