Wharfedale Hut: a pleasant tramp close to Christchurch

Walk Facts Good book about tramping in New Zealand
Distance 23 km
Ascent 1560 m
Estimated time 3 + 4 hours
Hiked on 14-15th June 2019
Map & GPX files (by John Kerkhofs) See the online map below (with GPX download)
Open the track at NZ Topo Maps
More books about tramping in New Zealand

Wharfedale Hut is a standard DoC hut with a nice, easy-going trail going all the way from a carpark at the end of Wharfedale Track Road to the hut. To get to the carpark, we had to cross a couple of rivers. One of them could cause troubles to the non-4WD vehicles so if you’re heading up there, make sure the water level is not too high. The crossing would be impassable and you’d have to leave your car by the river and hike about 5 km to the end of the road.

Anna and I started off on a Friday night at the beginning of the winter. It was a bit foggy but the overall weather was brilliant. Sunny with warm breeze stroking our cheeks. Soon after we started, it was clear that it’s going to be an easy tramp. The trail was very nice – wide and easy to follow. I didn’t have to look at the map even once.

The trail was slightly muddy at times but nothing too bad

There were a few river crossings on the way but nothing even slightly unsafe. More like small creek crossings. Therefore, I’d recommend this hike to families with kids or people who’re starting with tramping. It took us about 3 hours to reach Wharfedale Hut. As we expected, the hut was empty so we had it all for ourselves. We collected some firewood, made a fire and played cards until the late night. I don’t expect from life more than evenings life this!

Wharfedale Hut during the sunset

The day after, the weather wasn’t the best. It started to be quite foggy but we decided to go up to the western ridge of Mt Oxford anyway. This route is much harder than the pleasant Wharfedale Track so I wouldn’t recommend it to families with kids or beginning trampers.

Moon above Dobson Stream

Halfway up the ridge, it started to rain. I felt blessed. There is something highly magical about rain in the native forest. It just feels so natural and right. Like going back to the roots of humanity. Anyway, we got wet, I took a few pictures of the wet bush and after an hour or so we were standing on the top of the ridge. Surprisingly, there was quite a lot of snow, even though we didn’t see any the day before. Crossing wet snow in trainers is not the most pleasant experience on Earth but it’s still better than to walk in proper hiking boots on a gravel track.

Wet bush is good. Like hiking

The way down from the ridge wasn’t as steep as the way up but it was muddy as. But that’s alright, that’s just New Zealand bush. Reaching Wharfedale Track felt like reaching a highway after many hours of driving on farm roads. The final part along Wharfedale Track was just a piece of cake.

Overall it’s a good tramp with plenty of options where to go. If the weather was good, we were prepared to go either to Mt Oxford or do a loop trail from Wharfedale Hut along Black Hill Track and back on Foster Ridge Track. Wharfedale Hut is definitely a good option for a beginner tramper and a must for every Christchurchian!

Map


Total distance: 22585 m
Max elevation: 1131 m
Min elevation: 521 m
Total climbing: 1555 m
Total descent: -1555 m
Total Time: 04:27:15
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About the Author

Michal
I lived pretty common 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 to learn about the world. I’m still not sure what’s going on but I enjoy it much more.

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