2013 - Overland Track - Day 5 - Kia Ora Hut to Windy Ridge Hut
Tuesday was a truly wonderful day. With fresh deep snow to walk through. The snow seemed to deaden the sounds of the bush and our walking. With the sun out and it getting a bit warmer meant that the snow in the trees started to fall to the ground and resulted in all of us getting dumped on at regular intervals. We walked through to Du Cane hut, one of the old huts in the region where people would trek into and us as a base camp. Trekkers would spend a couple of days getting into this camp carrying flour, butter and some other non perishable provisions. They said that those days if you could find an echidna along the way you would catch it and eat it. Supposedly it tasted like chicken. These early explorers were really gutsy individuals and would have endured hardships that we could not have imagined.
After having morning tea we headed off, and in true Tassie fashion the weather closed in and it started to rain. We got to the turn off for Hartnett Falls and decided to check the falls out. We were wet through once again, so thought what the hell. The effort to get to the falls was well worth it. These falls were pumping. We had had a significant amount of rain, the roar from the falls was amazing. We saw some photos of the falls that people had taken during summer and they seemed to be a trickle - people could walk up to the base of the falls, certainly could not have done this when we saw it. We had a quick lunch back at the junction and then headed off to Windy Ridge or as it is now called Bert Nichols. When you read his story at the hut, you cannot help but feel that this is not a hut that we would want to be remembered by. A very extravagant hut for someone who lived and craved a simpler life.
The water tanks were overflowing and the water was beautifully fresh. We huddled around the heat that night glad that we had brought the extra briquettes with us. We managed to leave a full bucket of briquettes at this hut. The hut is arranged in such away that the sleeping quarters are well away from the kitchen area so the heat from the heater was not really effective, plus the high ceilings were not conducive to a warm evening. Clearly a place for summer.