|Topo50: Andrews Valley-Poulter valley area|
|Start of the Andrews valley track|
|Andrews Shelter, at the start of the track|
The track starts with a steep climb onto a spur, it then sidles it's way to Hallelujah Flats at around the 800 metre mark for the next 2 hours.
|Manuka scrub lining sides of Andrews track|
|Andrews Valley Track, this is about 1.5 hours in|
If you did a right turn and walked off the track I can see how you could get lost, as it is quite thick but other wise....?
|One of the side streams bisecting Andrews Valley Track|
|Mature red beech trees, Andrews Valley|
|Hallelujah Flats, Andrews Valley|
|View back down Andrews Valley|
|Casey Saddle, the track sidles spur to right, photo from|
Past Casey Saddle you need to ford Surprise and Trinity streams which will be impassible in any kind of rain. As it was they were right on the edge of safety for me crossing by myself, if I had come through an hour or so later I would not have been able to cross.
The last 2 hours are a climb up and over a spur, once over the spur it was a long slow descent in the rain down to the river flat the hut is located on.
|Rest spot at unnamed stream near Pt 869, Casey Stream Track|
Finally made it to Casey hut about 7 pm, only 2 other occupants so plenty of room in this 10 bunk hut.
|Burnt out Casey Hut, 2016 from the TVNZ website|
The closest hut is Trust Poulter about 1.5 hours further up valley, inaccessible if there has been any rain as there are three streams to cross en route.
Take a tent with you if you are considering walking this circuit.
The interior shots below are from the Tramping New Zealand website.
|Interior of Casey Hut showing bench area|
|Bunk room in old Casey Hut, Arthurs Pass NP|
|The awesome firebox in Casey Hut, Arthurs Pass NP|
Day Two: Casey Hut to Pete's Stream
I stayed in the hut for the morning drinking tea as the weather was terrible, it was due to clear in the late afternoon. Casey Hut is magnificent, it is one of the "Lockwood" style huts popular with the NZFS in the early 1980's, others include Hamilton Hut, Hope Kiwi, Hawdon Mark 1, Edwards and Goat Pass.
These are far and away my favourite DOC huts. I love all that wood!
|Casey Hut, Poulter valley morning of day two|
|The long slog down the Poulter Valley, Arthurs Pass NP|
There are two significant streams to cross: Mt Brown and Pete Stream's. I had no problems crossing them but they could be a problem if it was raining hard, bear this in mind when planning a trip up the Poulter Valley.
|Pete Stream, Poulter Valley from my camp site, morning day three|
A camp was selected on the river terraces on the far side of Pete Stream, around 6.30 pm. Pete Stream is the last reliable water point between here and Andrews Shelter, so fill up before you start the climb. There are a couple of scratch spots in the matagouri where you can pitch your tent, well protected from the wind. I stopped here as it was at least another 3-4 hours to get back to the car and
I didn't fancy walking on an unfamiliar track in the dark.
After a couple of brews and some food I was feeling much better. I heard some light rain and snow falling during the night but nothing too major...
Day three: Pete Stream to Andrews Shelter
|Going up and over Binser Saddle, Arthurs Pass NP on day three. Red cross is my campsite.|
I was surprised to wake on the last day and see snow on the trees towards Binser Saddle, but apart from the snow coating the trees it was a nice clear day. Set out to cross Binser
Saddle around 7 am, it was 2 hours to the top and 1.5 hour down the other side. I was surprised by how far it was, the track sidles up and down through the forest for quite a way but only 600m height gain over 6-7 km.
|Binser Saddle Track|
|Jon resting half way to Binser Saddle|
|Binser saddle track, looking back downhill|
|Nearing the top of Binser Saddle|
|Snow on trees, Binser Saddle Track|
|Near the saddle, snow on trees|
|Track just before Binser Saddle, the stream is near here|
|View from the high point, down towards Mt White road|
|Binser Saddle from Mt White road|
|Binser Saddle, doesn't look so bad....nek minit!|
Access: From off SH 73 drive along Mt White Road to Andrews Valley entrance near Andrews Shelter, other exit is at base of Binser Saddle 4 kms along Mt White Station Road
Track Times: 6-7 hours to Casey Campsite, 5 hours to Pete's Stream, 4-5 hours to Andrews Shelter via Binser Saddle
Hut Details: Andrews Shelter, no bunks, no heating, toilet: DOC campsite on old Casey Hut location, toilet and wood shed, water from nearby stream: Scratch campsite on the river terrace overlooking Pete's Stream
Miscellaneous: All streams on this circuit are un-bridged and may be impossible to cross in a storm, long periods traversing flats which are prone to windy conditions.