Our Hike to to Kime Hut via Field Hut
It has been a while since I have talked about the great outdoors on this blog. As it has been winter so we haven’t been getting out to the huts as much lately (actually, I have been letting Lucas go alone.) But, last weekend we ventured out for an early spring, overnight hike to dust off the cobwebs. We opted for leaving from Otaki Forks and heading via Field Hut to Kime Hut on Mount Hector.
If you are reading this, and you don’t yet know about the NZ DOC back country huts, you can check out my guide to them HERE
This was an amazing experience. A solid six hours of hiking on the first day and five hours back the next day. It was exhausting, to say the least, and once we got up beyond Field Hut, Table Top, and above about 1200 meters, the weather really took a turn. Withering Heights comes to mind! The wind was seriously powerful and you can see why the terrain up there has taken many lives in the past.
Luckily we hit Kime Hut, just before the hypothermia set in at about 4:30 pm on the Saturday. We were, however, rather disgruntled to find that there is no fireplace in there. Having been expecting there to be one (which I know you shouldn’t do) it became a real challenge to dry out and warm up.
Hot Tip: What I did learn is that getting straight in your sleeping bag and trying to cocoon is not the way to warm up quickly. Its better to stay on your feet, get dry clothes on, make a hot cup of tea and warm up from within before getting in the bag.
Even Hotter Tip: Be careful and be prepared for the worst. It can be a bright and sunny day down in town but up in the mountains, things can be totally different.
Anyway, here is a little info about the hike for those venturing up to Kime Hut (I didnt get any photos of Kime Hut itself but you can check out the DOC site for a wee look):
Tararua Forest Park
Date of our tramp:
Early September 2017
Route and Road end:
Left our car at the Otaki Forks overnight car park and hiked up via field hut and table top. Otaki Forks is a 1.5 hour drive from Wellington.
Hours to hut:
A 3 hour hike to Field Hut and a further 3 hours to Kime Hut. Quicker on the way down, but the initial descent was icy and very windy so this took more time than average.
This track is well maintained up to Field Hut and that first half of this adventure was quite easy, despite being a steep uphill climb most of the way. Then the first hour from Field Hut towards Kime is particularly beautiful with long sweeping land which I believe counts as Table Top. This gives amazing views and it is definitely worth coming up here if you decide to just stay at Field Hut for the night.
This was a really great hike, despite the weather conditions at the top. It was a proper adventure and a really good workout! There were quite a lot of people walking between Field Hut and Otaki Forks but we saw no one else between Field Hut and Kime Hut. I’m guessing this is because there is no fire. The walk was steep but some of the views are spectacular and you really feel like you are up in the mountains quite quickly.
The night was cold, I wont deny, that it was difficult to keep warm, but we did so by sleeping right next to each other and creating a sort of fort with the mattresses. This cold was not helped by the fact that I kept needing to go to the loo and had to go out into the gale and wind about 4 times during the night! It was also really hard to sleep with all the howling of the wind.
Anyway, the coolest part of this hike by far was the amazing sight we got when we woke up. The whole place had turned to ice, and I guess because of the way the wind was blowing, all the tussocks had these crazy ice formations on them. The sky and the sun were white, it was totally awesome! This wonderland completely stopped after we hiked for only about 45 minutes and it was almost bright sunshine below the freezing line. Quite an amazing experience. But not for the feint hearted!
Really nice and clean, new hut but looses points due to not having a fire. Everything else about it is great.
My Hut Rating:
All in all a 3/5
You can also read about my previous hut trips in the Tararuas, in the following blog posts:
Thanks for reading and come back soon!