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November 2017 Issue
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Historical hut

Hideaway Biv is a (very) old musterer’s hut. Photo: Nina Dickerhof
This entry is part 17 of 18 in the series Ranger Secrets

Hideaway Bivouac, Ahuriri Conservation Park

Ranger: Ray Bellringer, Aoraki/Mt Cook

Some huts and bivvies are noteworthy because of their stunning location. But Hideaway Biv is worth a visit for its historical significance.

It’s an old musterer’s hut made from corrugated iron. Musterers used to graffiti the outside of the hut to say where they were mustering on a particular year. Over time, the graffiti fades but, in this particular hut, records of the graffiti have been taken and presented on a panel which now sits inside the hut.

“It’s the only place I’ve ever seen this done before,” says Ray Bellringer. “It’s a very special place because of its historical nature.

“Hideaway Biv is actually well hidden away. On many maps it’s not named, but just marked as a dot.”

The biv is accessed by a reasonably short trek from the Ahuriri River. But Bellringer recommends making a four-day almost-round trip starting from Freehold Creek, overlooking Lake Ohau.

He suggests heading to Dumb-bell Lake, then down to the Maitland Valley and over Point 1352 to Snowy Gorge Hut. Then head down the true left of Snowy Gorge Creek towards Hideaway Biv.

“At one point there is a bit of matagouri bashing as you make your way around a small lake – one of the necessary evils of a best-kept secret.”

From the biv, head to Quailburn Woolshed via Ahuriri River East Branch; heading upstream and following the fence line to the Quailburn Track.

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