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Luggage and bags: A good backpack. Line it with a plastic bin liner, and if it doesn't have a showerproof cover, make one of your own with another bin liner. The New Zealand bush is dense and green for a reason - it rains!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I wouldn't do this walk without decent walking boots. It covers a fairly steep route over sometimes slippery, rough rocky pathways. Take a waterproof coat, or grab a cheap waterproof poncho from one of the outdoor shops in nearby Thames. Carry a change of clothing - it was such a relief to get out of my wet gear when we got to the hut.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Leave the girlie shower gel at home. Unless you really fancy a freezing cold shower.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring a sleeping bag and the ability to share a room with up to forty complete strangers.
Miscellaneous: Although the DOC website says cooking gear isn't provided, the hut does have a number of stove billies, the odd plastic plate and a couple of kitchen odds and ends. But best to bring what you need. Bring easy-cook camping fare and make sure your pack has room for a bottle of fortifying red wine. Two maybe. All uneaten food does need to be carried back out again, but empty bottles don't weigh so much as full ones ;-)
Updated Jun 3, 2007
Favorite thing: From Thames, this is a 14km slow drive along a windy and sometimes skinny road, followed by a 3 hour uphill trek, which for me took 4 hours as I am not very fit. We were overnighting at the Hut, so had packs with gear on our backs.
After settling in at the hut, you can then walk on either that same day or next morning, to hike up to the summit of The Pinnacles. This is made easy by leaving your packs at the Hut and just wearing coats on this climb. The weather can turn quickly and the wind can be cold up there, so I do advise taking jackets.
Fondest memory: This further trek, from the Hut to the Summit, takes around an hour one way. We spent some time on the lookout platform, which makes the stay much easier given that you are not hanging on to the side of a rock! I phoned a few friends while up there, at last we had cellphone reception, haha.
Written Mar 31, 2005