Ranger Biv and across Poulter Range, Forest Peak and Turnbull Biv

I was “lucky” enough that Emma got injured so I could actually keep up with her on a trip that turned out to be a bit longer than I anticipated. We started off at Andrews Shelter, from where we plodded to Casey Hut. After feeding ourselves and the local sandflies, we continued along the Poulter River towards Fenwick Stream. About 400 m up the stream, I realised that I hadn’t taken any water. Not knowing if there would be any water further up, we went back to Poulter River, got water, and continued further. Soon enough (as Emma predicted), we found water at Fenwick Stream. The stream is quite big, but the water seems to flow underground at its lower parts. The start of Ranger Biv track is on the TR of Fenwick stream where a big gorge is. The track to Ranger Biv was very nice, quite top-notch actually. Well marked and cut.

If I had been by myself, I’d probably have stayed at Ranger Biv, but Emma convinced me to keep going to a tarn behind pt1666. The tops are well accessible, just a bit scrubby at places, which slowed us down a bit. Finally, after almost 11 hours, we reached the tarn, which was truly fantastic with many good tent spots. Emma claimed a bench close to the tarn; I claimed one a bit further up. We took some photos and went to bed early.

The following morning, we got up early, climbed back onto the ridge, and headed towards pt1713. Pt1740 looked bluffy, so we slid along it to pt1640. We continued along the gentle, tussocky tops to Forest Peak, from where we took its south ridge down. The travel was pretty good, and we even found signs of an old track. In the lower parts, we dropped into the creek a little too early, I think, and it might have been better to stay on higher ground. If you follow my GPX, from between the 700-750 contour, try to stay on higher ground and don’t drop into the creek. As you can see on my GPX, we soon had to climb back up into the slopes because the creek has a series of uncrossable waterfalls.

Once back at the Poulter River, we crossed it and followed the track to the Turnbull Biv exit to bag Turnbull Biv. This route is unmarked all the way to the gorge where marking starts. The gorge is quite hard to see, actually; it’s kind of hidden, and we didn’t see it until we were right in front of it. The gorge had a decent amount of windfall, and the bottom parts of the access track were washed away, so it took us a while to find it. Once we climbed onto the north bench of the gorge, it was just a wee flat stroll to the biv. It’s a very nice-looking hideaway with endless tenting spots (and also wasps and sandflies). On the way back to the Casey-Binser track, we actually struggled a bit to cross the Poulter River. The water levels were surely a bit higher than expected, and we walked about a kilometre downstream until we found a suitable spot for crossing.

Once on the track, we got our wings back and crossed Binser Saddle in no time (at least compared to the slow-going river travel… it was still a 12-hour day). It was an amazing day out. I really enjoy long days like that, and Emma is an amazing, easy-going companion who pushed me both to the tops and to Turnbull Biv, for which I’m grateful. Thanks, Emma!


Andrews Shelter – Casey hut – Ranger biv – a tarn on Poulter Range – See NZ Topo Map

26.6 km, 10h 45min, 1700 m ascent

A tarn on Poulter Range – Forest Peak – Poulter River – Turnbull biv – Binser Saddle – See NZ Topo Map

33.8 km, 12 h, 1300 m ascent

Participants: Michal Klajban, Emma Rogers

Tramped on 18-19th November 2023.



Total distance: 26975 m
Max elevation: 1669 m
Min elevation: 541 m
Download file: GPX-hikingisgood-com-nz-2023-Ranger-Biv-day1.gpx
Total distance: 34444 m
Max elevation: 1720 m
Min elevation: 504 m
Download file: GPX-hikingisgood-com-nz-2023-Ranger-Biv-day2.gpx

About the Author

I lived a pretty ordinary life for a while. I did my studies, my second studies, my third studies, my first job, my second job, and my third job. I wasn’t really sure what’s going on so, in 2014, I left my home country (Czechia) to learn about the world. I’m still not sure what’s going on but I enjoy it much more. I lived in a few countries before settling in New Zealand.

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