Back to all Back

Summer National Climbing Camp – Hunter Valley

1st Feb to 8th Feb 2020

The Otago Section are organising a national summer climbing camp to be based at the site of Ferguson Hut in the Hunter Valley as shown in the figure below.  The camp will run form Saturday 1st Feb to Saturday 8th Feb. There are several peaks within easy reach of Ferguson Hut, and it is a great opportunity to explore a remote corner of the New Zealand Mountains.

Campers are expected to be self-contained with their own tent, cooking equipment, fuel, food and personal supplies. The hut is only 4 bunks.  We will be providing some basic communal facilities such as a mountain radio and a couple of tent fly shelters.

The camp is suitable for climbers of all levels of experience, but you must be an Alpine club member to attend.  If you do not have a climbing partner at the camp, we will arrange for you to team up with other climbers.



Ferguson hut is 52 km from the nearest public road a Kidds Bush on the shore of Lake Hawea. A 4WD track runs to within 7 km of the hut. While Ferguson Hut in the DoC estate access via the lower Hunter Valley is via Hunter Valley station land. We will arrange permission for you to walk out via the Hunter Valley Station.

It is proposed that people attending the camp fly in by helicopter from Kidds Bush and walk or pack raft out.  The cost per person for the helicopter is estimated at $260 assuming we have a full helicopter (6 people) for each trip. We propose to use Backcountry Helicopters who are based in Makarora.  The helicopter can carry 700 kg including the pilot.  This will enable each person to have about 30 kg of baggage.

An alternative to walking out via the Hunter Valley back to Kidds Bush is to walk out via Wills Pass and the Wills valley to the main Haast Pass highway. If you were doing this option, it would be best to fly from Makarora and leave your car there. You would then need to hitch from the Wills to Makarora (28km) or arrange a pickup.

You do not need to leave the valley on the 8th you can stay on longer to do your own exploring.


It is expected that some people attending the camp will be from overseas or the North Island and will fly into Queenstown or Christchurch.  We will try to arrange for you to get a ride with a local attending the camp from Wanaka to the road end. You will need to make your travel plans so you can be in Wanaka first thing on Saturday 1st Feb. There are several public transport options to get to Wanaka. At the end of the Camp plan on getting back to Wanaka late on Saturday the 8th Feb.

Registration and Numbers

You must be an NZAC member to attend the camp. The maximum number of people attending the camp will be limited to 24 so early registration is advised.

A preliminary registration of interest form has been created in Google forms and here is the link

A full registration form will be created latter which will be sent to the people who have completed the preliminary registration.  You will be required to pay in full to have your full registration confirmed.

Camp Cost (Excluding Helicopter)

There will be a modest fee to cover administration and communal facilities I expect no more than $20.

Additional Information

For DoC information on Hunter valley click here.

For link to Hunter Valley Station website click here

Here is a link showing photos of a trip to Mt Enderby by Otago climbers click here.

Posted: 17/05/19

Posted By: Francis Charlesworth