top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoseph Hayden

Between Two Ferns (Fern Burn Hut to Middle Peak)

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

A few weeks ago I mapped out an excursion in the Tekapo area.

My plan was simple.

Follow part of the Te Araroa to Camp Stream Hut then scramble my way up to two thousand metres the next day...

Beuzenberg Peak

Is where I planned on going this weekend😅

Thing is, I want it a little snowy🤏🏿

We've had a few dustings lately but most of it doesn't survive the day.

With my bag packed and my destination uncertain, I panned through an old Alltrails list late Friday night. I needed something that could tide me over until Tekapo finds its winter coat.

What I found was Fern Burn Hut,

tucked in a valley behind Roy's Peak. It's one of many huts along the Motatapu Track.

There's also something resembling a track into the high ground right next to it ...

Middle Peak

I kicked things into high gear with five shots of caffeine on the way to Wanaka and was on my feet by half ten.

However, not looking at any of the signage lead my feet in the wrong direction.

for twenty minutes I was just walking up a gravel road🤦🏻‍♂️😂

I doubled back once I'd realized, hoping the group of boys still in the carpark hadn't noticed my idiocracy 😅


Now back on track I walked upstream, it took just over two hours to reach the hut. Along the way I passed a couple of young families and found a pair of sunglasses on the ground, I propped them up in case the rightful owner came back past.


Fern Burn Hut was empty when I arrived, the boys I had seen in the car park earlier weren't far behind me though.

I set up my bunk and proceeded to chat shit before taking off up the bluff at half one.

A friend of mine let me use his camera on this adventure, that camera took most of these photos and it was cool to experiment with different settings.

To the left of Fern Burn Hut is a track up hill, it climbs a hundred or so metres before you have to scale a rather steep section.

It looks worse than it is, there's a bit of exposure but up close it's not so bad.

Roughly four hundred metres above the hut the ridgeline provided easy walking, with views back through the valley to The Buchanan Peaks 👌🏽

The top of each hill ahead revealed another, rolling into the distance.


Middle peak is just over eighteen hundred metres above sea level and roughly five kilometres from the hut.

I was over halfway but running low on daylight 🫣

There was no way I'd make it there and back in time.

I was so close, but so far. Middle Peak was just out of reach.

I was disappointed in myself, I knew I was dragging my feet that morning.

This was a super cool track. It just wasn't what I'd hyped myself up for all week 😅

Because of that I dilly dallied a bit more than usual.

Old habits die hard but I've been trying not to beat myself up so much.

No I didn't make it to the top of the mountain but I did enjoy myself.


I raced the shadows back down to the valley floor, inevitably losing.

It must've taken me just over an hour to get back to the hut, descending the bluff was a little tricky in low light and I'd gone off track 🙄😂

The once quiet hut was now a busy hub, with atleast a dozen people.

I usually stay up for hut chat but I wasn't really in the mood that night.

I made some dinner and zoned out to a podcast, I was asleep before some of the kids 😂

I considered heading back up Middle Peak the next morning as I sipped on my coffee, I felt as if I owed it something.

I also had a debt to settle with my stomach😅

Firebird hasn't delved into the world of dehydrated meals yet 😝

For now at least, Middle Peak has one over me 🤷🏻‍♂️

I was last to leave the hut but quickly caught up to some foot traffic, including the owner of those glasses👌🏿

Ironically right as she found them ☺️

The boys I'd gotten to know along the way were packing up their van when I arrived at the carpark, they too seemed partial to fried chicken as well😏

Not sure I trust anyone who isn't🤷🏻‍♂️

Next stop Tekapo👌🏻

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


My love life as of late is virtually inexistent, I take that back, the closest my love life comes to existing is virtually. Not via Tinder, no I deleted Tinder a while ago. My love life lives in my br


Sometimes I feel like I’m unravelling, like this web of mine is fraying at the seams. Carefully selected truths spun together insulate me, alone harmless, but weave them all together and they  form a


Avaliado com 0 de 5 estrelas.
Ainda sem avaliações

Adicione uma avaliação
bottom of page