Day Trip to Sayers Hut
30 December 2007
While on a day trip to Kapakapanui, Ken mentioned that he had not visited Sayers Hut, and as we had already planned a trip for Sunday the 30th, but had not finalized a destination, Sayers Hut seemed a reasonable focus.
Sayers Hut is located in the Eastern Tararuas on the true left of the Waiohine River about one and a half kilometres down river from Totara Flats Hut. Sayers Hut cannot be seen from the river flats as it surrounded by bush. Access to Sayers can be achieved by several different routes; the most common would be from Mangatarere road end, from Holdsworth road end via Totara Creek or from Walls Whare via the track on the true right of the Waiohine. Other options also exist such as the ridge on the true left of Totara Creek and a low level route on the true left of the Waiohine from Walls Whare. We decided on none of the above and opted to access from the ridge on the true left of the Waiohine from Walls Whare via Fern Stream spur. This spur starts adjacent to the Walls Whare car park by crossing Fern Stream at S26 111207. After crossing Fern Stream, there is a steep climb to bump 295m on an easy to follow route.
From bump 295 there is open bush and a gentle gradient along a well defined spur in a north easterly direction until the spur becomes less well defined between 460 and 500 metres. Once at bump 532 m, there is a sharp change in direction, first to the east for about half a kilometres, and then to the south east for half a kilometre as the route starts a circumnavigation of the headwaters of Rocky Stream. On reaching bump 632m, the spur takes a northerly direction for about 150m before heading east of north for about three-quarters of a kilometre prior to swinging to the north west. Then it is a matter of climbing and sidling a less well defined face before reaching a cairn and three blazed trees marking Dave’s corner - a critical point when heading south. A well defined ridge heads approximately north, passing through some head-high scrub and some open rocky areas until, after about one and a half kilometres of travel, the bush clad top of Waiohine, 818m, is reached.
From Waiohine there are two spurs to the west, one heading into Deep Creek and one heading to the Waiohine River with a side spur to Sayers Stream. From Waiohine Peak the ridge heads north east for about one kilometre to bump 810 and then swings west of north to join the Sayers Track. The descent to the hut is on a DOC track, the bottom section of which is marked by random DOC triangles and pink tape. The current Sayers Hut is a modified version of the original 1909 structure which was built by Richard Sayers and the Sayers family. After a stop to admire the spacious interior of the hut we crossed the river to return by the DOC track on the true right to Walls Whare. A longish but very interesting day of some potentially challenging navigation and good bush tramping.
- Party members
- Colin Cook, Ken Fraser and Dave Reynolds