WAIMAKARIRI RIVER & TRIBUTARIES
TO CARRINGTON HUT (Walking time 4 hours from Klondyke Corner)
This is a very popular tramping route for climbers and the many backpackers that also find their way to Carrington Hut, attracted by the dramatic scenery which flanks both sides of the river, and of course the relatively easy nature of the route.
Weather very much dictates which route one should take up the Waimakariri River, and whether or not you have an allergy to fording rivers.
In DRY WEATHER (ie. River not in high flow) from Klondyke Corner a route can be picked up the centre of the river flats (this could require three to five crossings of the Waimakariri, and possibly one of the Crow River, dependant on both river courses on the day). Access to Crow Hut is available by picking up a trail in the huge tussock flat on the true left of the Waimakariri prior to the Crow River junction, once the Crow alluvial fan is reached stay on the true left crossing to the true right after about 600m, following a marked and cairned route for a further 4 ½km (beware of rockfall & slides off the eastern flank of Mt Stewart).
For those travelling to Anti Crow, and upstream, ford the Waimakariri to its southern bank. Staying on the river flats provides the best route around the large rocky knolls at the Anti Crow River confluence. A line of sight route is then taken towards the heavily wooded corner on the true left below Greenlaw Creek. Head for the outlet of Greenlaw Creek, and cross the flats towards Harper Creek. Pick up the marked trail on the true left of Harper Creek, following it for only 300m before dropping on a vague but short trail to the Waimakariri flats, skirt the flood debris strewn shingle bank on the true right (next to the Waimakariri), again returning to the river-bed and flats.
Head for the obvious bush corner on the true right and follow the entrenched track to Carrington Hut. Time for this venture from Klondyde Corner is approximately four hours. Parties travelling to Anti Crow Hut leave the route where appropriate. Note : Greenlaw Hut was removed in 1996 due to earthquake damage.
With persistent wet weather the Waimakariri IS NOT FORDABLE. It should also be noted that several of its tributaries are also prone to flooding, in particular Jordan Stream and Anti Crow River. In view of this, a route exists on the southern (true right) bank, from Klondyke Corner to Carrington Hut. This route takes approximately 5½ hours. A good track leads from the bridge to Turkey Flat. While crossing the fan stay high to avoid the impenetrable scrub lower down. From the fan, follow the bush edge picking up a river by-pass track over the bluff just before the Anti Crow Hut. The track continues on through bush and on to the boggy Anti Crow "roche moutonnee" crossing the Anti Crow and dropping back towards the Waimakariri riverbed (well downstream on the Anti Crow offers the best fording possibilities).