Trip to Sayers Hut
19 - 20th May 2007.
Sayers Hut is one of the Tararua treasures, a bush hut with an open fire and a similar atmosphere to Cone Hut. Built in 1909 by Richard Sayer and his family, Sayers Hut pre-dates Cone Hut. Since then the original structure has been modified and maintained to its current level of comfort. The entrance to the hut is adorned with a rather unusual collection of metal advertising and street signs. Inside, the hut is quite large with six sturdy bunks, a generous collection of pot and pans, open fire and a large floor space.
At this time of the year the hut is popular with hunters as was the case on this trip. There are a variety of routes to access the hut and on this occasion we used the ridge on the true left of Totara Creek and the Waiohine River. By following the DOC track down towards Totara Creek until S26 144304, a foot pad and bits of tape and paint spots on trees can be located, followed in a steady climb to bump 575m. Beyond 575 there is a directional change at about S26 143291 followed by a further change in direction at about S26 143289 back to the original bearing of west of south. Travel is easy and the climbing is gentle over bumps 728 and 768 before meeting with the track from the Mangatarere road end. In the vicinity of bump 768, a marked route accesses Totara Creek and a short distance past bump 772, the track starts its descent to Sayers Hut. Just before bump 772, we took advantage of a small point to view the southern Main Range with Maungahuka, Simpson, Wright and Aokaparangi all being visible as well as Concertina Knob and the spur leading up to the Main Range. The descent to Sayers Hut is a rather less pleasant track than we had been used to, the bottom section being a scramble through a maze of old and fresh ‘tracks’ - none of which are very well marked. Nearing the bottom of the track we met a confused hunter who was trying to come to grips with the track. Once at the Hut we soon had a fire going and were all busy preparing the evening meal which, as it turned out, was a real delight.
After stunning weather on Saturday, Sunday started with some light showers and strong winds, as predicted, but our plan was still possible. The true left of the Waiohine was easy going with only a few diversions to keep our feet dry. At Totara Creek we crossed the bridge and visited Totara Flats hut, a first for some of the party. After a cuppa and a bite to eat we were soon on our way up Totara Creek. We opted to take a spur at the Totara Creek Forks which is located between the forks and accesses the track above the Mountain House shelter at about 830m. The spur provides good travel through open bush with steep pitches at the bottom and near the top, which is marked by a small cairn. The descent to the car park was via the DOC track, ending a most enjoyable trip.
- Party members
- Jeanette Roberts, Cathy Wylie, Tim Stone, Russell Cook, and Dave Reynolds (scribe).