Camp Stream Hut [Untitled]

– Sold

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Camp Stream Hut [Untitled] New Zealand
Original acrylic painting on cedar framed board
By Michelle Bellamy
600 x 600mm
In progress 2023-2024

For those of you that have done the Te Araroa Trail, biked, hunted or backcountry skied near Camp Stream in the Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park near Lake Tekapo you will recognise the very iconic Camp Stream Hut. Now this one is pretty cool, built in 1898 it was an old musterers hut back in the day, burnt down and was re-built with iron from the original hut. Now it is lovingly looked after by the Mackenzie Alpine Trust, and they do a great job, every time I have visited there is always a gigantic pile of firewood.
With only six bunks it's quite cosy inside, probably a bit draughty at times, but it is very rustic and has a lovely outlook down Camp Stream towards Round Hill. The scenery down the valley is superb, especially in the late evening, when the hills are caressed by the golden light.

Having previously visited Camp Stream Hut in the Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park in Autumn after a long warm summer just ending, I was keen to pop up and over and check the area out in a cooler climate. Round Hill had just closed for season, the rivers were high with snowmelt and there were still patches of snow hugging the hollows on the hills so the area looked quite different.
The ski-field road was an unrelenting grind made easier by biking up, I love riding along the plateau and taking in the wonderful surrounding views, especially as the last light leaves. Also there’s nothing quite as good as a set of wheels to make a tedious decent back in the dark go quicker.
Once the trail starts to drop into the river valley sneakers was the best bet, knowing I was going to have wet feet for the majority of the trip, at least they are light. From the valley floor you cross a river (a very cold one full of snow melt) and back again then meander along till another crossing where you then follow Camp Stream up to the hut. The entire track was very wet, snow melting, full streams, but the scenery was stunning. With Round Hill’s bare slopes behind, rolling hills leading to glimpses of interesting valleys that disappeared into the Two Thumb Range and higher snow clad peaks just visible.
The evening spent at the hut was beautiful, however once the sun fell behind the hills the temperature dropped like a stone and it was time to return. Heading back as dusk fell and the mountains were lit with orange was a welcome destruction from the fact that my feet were going from freezing to numb. The bike ride across and down as the sky went from various shades of blue to purple also did not help to warm things up. Thank-fully I was greeted by two kids who were overheating from hanging out in their sleeping bags and were only too happy to help defrost my toes.