Harper River

Saturday 16 July 2022

The scheduled trip in Lees Valley to Youngman Stream Hut was scotched by a “road closed” sign at the turn-off from the main road. You hear stories of people, ignoring signs and trying to get through. That was us; we went to see if it was impassable to our 4-wheel-drive. We didn’t have to go far. At the first stream a big digger was placing hefty boulders to shore up a washout. A worker there told us there were eight such blockages. Driving out, our three would-be trampers wondered where else we could go. We decided on Hamilton Hut, via the Harper River.

A snowy scene greeted us as we arrived at the locked gate near the Harper diversion. We crunched our way along the track for two hours, trying hard not to get our boots wet. Nearing the corner where the Avoca River joins the Harper we came to a crossing that would definitely get our socks wet. It was another five hours to the hut and soon we’d not have the benefit of vehicle tracks. Off-track the snow was deep and soft and slow going, and we’d made a late start, so we headed back to the car. The idea of camping in the area was discarded in favour of going home to watch the All Blacks get soundly beaten by the Irish. We’d had a nice day trip in beautiful surroundings. We were: Wendy McCaughan, Peter Umbers and Kerry Moore.

Mt Ida from the Harper car park