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March 2016 Issue
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True solitude

Barker Hut, located in upper White Valley with Mt Harper beyond. Photo: Jakub Cejpek
Area
Arthur's Pass National Park
Distance
21.8km
Total Ascent
1366m
Time
11hr to hut. Road end to Carrington Hut, 6hr; Carrington Hut to Barker Hut, 5hr
Grade
Moderate
Accom.
Carrington Hut, 36 bunks; Barker Hut, 10 bunks
Access
From SH73 immediately south of the road bridge over Waimakariri River near Arthur’s Pass
Map
BV20

Barker Hut, Arthur’s Pass National Park

A trip to Barker Hut is best described as challenging but rewarding. Located amid some of the most beautiful surroundings of Arthur’s Pass National Park, this 10-bunk memorial hut is, at 1560m, the highest hut in the area.

Named after Neville Barker, who was killed during the Second World War, it serves as a base for ascents of peaks like the 2408m Mt Murchison.

Surrounded by glaciers at the head of White River and with rocky peaks all around, the location is spectacular. But it comes with a price. In this case, a demanding tramp via an unmarked rough route along the White River.

The rewards are waiting – not only will you pass the 152m Kilmarnock Falls, but there are also pleasant river crossings and when you finally reach the hut, watching the sun slowly set, illuminating the alpine basin with the last fading light, you’ll know it was worth the effort.

– Jakub Cejpek

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