Hero photograph
Photo by Joe McMenamin

Duke of Edinburgh Tramp to Blue Range Hut

Laura Andersen and Hazel Taylor —

On 26th September, the first day of the school holidays, two students were ready to climb their way to Blue Range Hut in the northern Tararuas. Before they even started it was pouring with rain, but there was no way they would let it stop them. Despite the rain, the track was in good condition, with only a few massive puddles we had to go around. It was a steep uphill climb the entire way, however hearing the Kaka chirping and having fun made it better.

Unfortunately, when we got to the hut it was very misty and we couldn’t see the much-awaited view. The hut was its own unique character. It would be hard to miss it as it is bright blue and has a “tow away area after 2 pm” sign. On the door it has a sign saying “Do not enter while surgery is in progress”. Once inside the hut, there are four bunk beds with signs that say “patients only”. It was also the only hut I’ve ever been to that had working lights (including Christmas tree lights!), operated on AA batteries. We played a few rounds of cards, cooked our dinner and went straight to bed so we would be ready for the following morning.

It was raining all night so the track was very slippery and we tumbled over multiple times. As if we weren’t tired enough, at the bottom of the hill one student dropped their pack, and with a teacher, who provided transport for our trip, fast walked the 1 ½ hour Loop Track at the bottom twice in 40 minutes to get her kilometers up for her final adventure assessment for her Bronze award. They did nearly 3.4km more on top of the 7.2km they had already done. We had lots of fun and can’t wait for another tramp!

By Laura Andersen and Hazel Taylor