Te Araroa Trail Day 146 – Porters Creek hut to St Arnaud

Crossing the Maitland River

The Richmond Ranges – Porters Creek hut to St Arnaud

We all woke around 6am this morning and several of us left Porters Creek hut by 7.15am. We enjoyed a great morning’s hike, and it was only 12kms to Red Hills hut.

Porters Creek hut to Maitland river

The day began with a steep descent to the Lowther creek river, crossing the river bed and heading back up into the forest.

The Lowther Creek river Porters Creek hut
The Lowther Creek river near Porters Creek hut

A few ups and downs later we were sidling along the banks of Maitland Creek in and out of the bush. It was a relatively easy morning and we enjoyed the sunshine.

Heading towards Maitland Creek
Heading towards Maitland Creek
Maitland Creek
Looking back at the crossing at Maitland Creek


Maitland river to Red Hills hut

We crossed the river and climbed up some steep cliffs – scrambling at times. There were a couple of times when Blair literally needed to pull me up the steep cliff as it was too high for me to scramble up myself. At the top we got some spectacular views of the morning’s trail. More undulations later and we were soon approaching Red Hills hut.

Bog Red hills hut
Checking the depth of the bog near Red hills hut

The last couple of Kms around the lower slopes of the red hills became really boggy, and we took care to test the depth of some of the more dodgy looking areas before we stepped…. thank goodness!

Red Hills hut
Red Hills hut

We reached Red Hills hut by lunchtime arms had a bite to eat.

Red Hills hut to St Arnaud

Once we got going again we exited the mountains straight down the 4 wheel drive track (Red Hills track) rather than up and over Beeby’s.

Wairau river Red Hills hut
Views of the Wairau river from the track to Red Hills hut

We enjoyed the easy walk out, and were on the Blenheim-St Arnaud road by 2.30pm. We walked East to a safe hitching spot and waited just over an hour for a hitch. A lovely family – 3 generations of ladies, picked us up and dropped us at the junction with the road to Nelson. Once at the junction we only waited around 5 minutes before another family picked us up and dropped us almost to our van in Nelson.

Keep up with us around NZ for the summer of 2018 😍

Doc trail Marker
Happy trails!

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