The tramp in is straight forward, and described more fully here, and for the most part the kids handled it well. They kept plugging up the steepish Miners Track, which carried us up from the valley floor onto the open tops and the site of the abandoned Blackburn Mine.
Due to the short nature of the route, we were able to take the time to explore, setting them free to poke around the site.
After this we struck out for the hut, following the vehicle track round the hillside, as opposed to the higher route over Trig R that we did in February. Along here our eldest struggled a little, not sure if he was slightly unwell or just tired, but we were at a point where it was easier to continue to the hut than to turn round and go back, so on we went. After arriving and scoffing down plenty of food he decided that he had just been hungry.
We arrived to the welcome news that we would have a bed for the night, and it seemed we arrived just in time, as within minutes another 2 parties arrived, and began the process of figuring out where they would sleep. This process repeated itself throughout the afternoon and early evening, with the final group arriving as darkness fell, bringing the number staying to around 50 (I lost count!).
We did a bit of exploring in the afternoon. The canyon just downstream from the hut is quite attractive, with lovely pools and a small waterfall. Rough foot trails lead down to them, and are easy to follow but care is needed with excited young children as the drop offs are vertical.
We woke to a strong nor'wester, forecast to bring rain with it, so we decided to pack up and head out earlier while it was still dry. As we climbed to the high point of the vehicle track we were met with the sight of rain sweeping across the Rangitata Valley, heading our way, but thankfully we managed to stay dry except for the odd flurry blowing in on the wind.
Our return leg was most pleasant, the gradual downhill gradient suiting everyone, and the only blemish was a wasp sting to our youngest who sat down to get a stone from his shoe and had the nasty surprise of a sting.
Another fun family tramp, following on from the success of Lake Daniell - a little more sleep next time would make it even better!
|Start of the tramp to Woolshed Creek Hut|
|Working our way up the Miners Track|
|Rest stop on the Miners Track|
|Exploring at the mine site|
|Heading across the tops past the mine|
|Excitement as the hut comes into view - all downhill from here!|
|Descending down the track to the hut|
|First experience on a swingbridge as we explore the area|
|Exploring just downstream from the hut|
|Fun in the creek|
|Waterfall just down from Woolshed Creek Hut|
|The waterfall in Woolshed Creek|
|Towering rock walls enclose Woolshed Creek|
|The waterfall in its' setting|
|Dawn breaks at Woolshed Creek Hut|
|A happy bunch, about to leave Woolshed Creek Hut|
|Route to Woolshed Creek Hut - we took the left option where it forks, with the high route over Trig R (Pt 934m) marked (see the trip report and photos here)|
Crown Copyright - Land Information NZ
Access: Follow Inland Scenic Route 72 to Mt Somers village, then turn inland onto Ashburton Gorge Rd. Look for the signposted turnoff to the carpark, it's not an obvious road, and follow it for about 3.5km to the carpark.
Time: Carpark to mine 45mins, carpark to Woolshed Creek Hut via vehicle track 2hr 20min, return via vehicle track 1hr 45mins (all times given here are those we took with the kids, includes frequent stops!)
Map: BX19 Hakatere
Hut: Woolshed Creek Hut (28 bunks)