Time of the year: All year around in the valley, but be wary of snow and
avalanche conditions from June to November (ice axes
and crampons may be required on the tops or to get up
to the head of the valley)
Accommodation: Canyon Creek rock biv, free, (situated at the upper head of the valley), camping in the lower valley just inside the bush, free, there is an excellent campsite with a perfect rock face for a fire, up the main Ahuriri Valley there are numerous other huts, most of which are $5.10 pp/ night or free with an Annual Backcountry Hut Pass.
Friday night: Camping and toilet facilities are located at the road-end. The 4WD road passes by Ahuriri Base Hut, relatively small, six bunks, $5.10 pp/ night or free with an Annual Backcountry Hut Pass. This hut can generally be reached in a 2WD assuming there have been no wash-outs on the road (but don’t count on it)
Route: Begins with a bit of a climb on a well-marked track through mountain beech forest and then levels out alongside the river. Backcountry tramping experience will be needed for those wishing to continue on to the Canyon Creek rock biv at the head of Canyon Creek. There is a route marked by orange poles and rock cairns that heads up the true right of the waterfall nearing the head of the valley.
Directions: Take SH1 north from Dunedin to Oamaru (good takeaway stop). Just passed Oamaru is a turnoff on the left to Omarama on SH83. If you reach the Waitake Bridge or Glenavy, you have gone too far. Continue to Omarama and turn left onto SH8. About 15 minutes further (maybe a little longer) is a right hand turn onto
Birchwood Road. Continue down this road to Ahuriri Conservation Park (another 30-45 minutes). From SH8 (south of Omarama) it is approximately 45 km to the Ahuriri Conservation Park boundary, which can be negotiated by 2WD vehicles. From the boundary to the road end car park 4WD vehicles are required. However,
recreationalists may decide to mountain bike instead. Total travel time is approximately 3.5-4 hours. Ahuriri Valley (main): there are a number of huts only a couple of hours apart (Shamrock Hut, Hagens Hut, Top Hut).
Snowy Gorge Hut: there is a marked route up a side valley coming off the Ahuriri. It is also possible to cross over to Lake Ohau through this route. Consult DOC, as permission from the landowners is required to do the complete crossing.
Mountaineering: Mt Heim or Mt Barth – both require technical mountaineering equipment and skills. Consult guidebooks and/ or club members.
/Originally from Antics 2012