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Ben Avon Hut via Top Dingle Burn Hut, Ahuriri Conservation Park

Looking down the Dingle Burn from near the Ahuriri-Dingle Burn Saddle. Photo: David Barnes
Ahuriri Conservation Park
Birchwood Road leaves SH8 17km west of Omarama. Track is signposted after 30km
BZ14, BZ13
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Ben Avon Hut via Top Dingle Burn Hut (gpx, yo 48 KB)
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Twenty minutes climbing through the shade of the beech trees brings you to where you can see the ridgeline just a kilometre distant but nearly 500m above. An old bulldozed track zigzags its way up the gully.

Once on the ridge, the views open up. Mt Barth, with its southern cloak, the Thurneysen Glacier appearing beyond Canyon Creek, while the Barrier Range from Mt Maitland to Mt St Mary dominates the view across the Ahuriri. In the other direction, the upper reaches of Dingle Burn stretch below.

Head down towards Dingle Burn and a straightforward descent through beech forest takes you to the grassy flats of the Dingle. A few minutes downstream leads to Top Dingle Hut, an ex-Forest Service hut.

Two hours of mostly open flats lead down-valley to the historic Ben Avon Hut. It’s managed as an historic site and you can’t stay there. Return the same way.