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Avoca River


The Avoca River is the major tributary of the Harper River, which in turn flows into the Wilberforce (and also Lake Coleridge via the Harper River Diversion). The lower reaches pass through pleasant tramping country, but the head of the river is surrounded by several larger peaks, including Mt Avoca, Mt Gizeh and the popular but challenging Mt Greenlaw.

POINT (171.432896 -43.053524)

Avoca River access
To reach the mountains at the head of the Avoca River, many people avoid a long walk up the valley by travelling up the Waimakariri River and crossing Gizeh Col (or other cols) at the head of the Anti Crow River (see the NZAC Arthur’s Pass guidebook). However, both walking and driving options are feasible up the Avoca Valley itself.
Access by 4WD is possible at least as far as the confluence with Amphitheatre Creek. Ask Glenthorne Station (phone 03 318 5801) for permission and call in at the homestead to pay for use of the road. A good 4WD track initially follows the Harper River but then turns north into the Avoca Valley and reaches the old homestead at Lilian Creek. From here the track continues north briefly, before crossing to the true left of the river and continuing upstream until a small gorge is reached. Find a suitable point to re-cross to the true right, pick up the 4WD track and continue to Basins Hut. The track can be boggy in the vicinity of Basins Hut. From here head down to the Avoca River, re-cross and pick up the 4WD track that climbs on to a terrace on the true left of the river and continues to Amphitheatre Creek. This is a good place to park. Keen drivers can continue upstream, negotiating boulders and crossing the river when necessary, as far as river flats 500 metres west of Easy Stream.
If travelling on foot, it is possible to cut around the western side of Mt Fitzwilliam to join the Avoca River. Continue upstream, crossing where required, until within a few hundred metres of Avoca Hut. Look for a well-marked track on the true right, which cuts through the bush and leads to the hut. To get to Moraine Flat and beyond, go down to the Avoca River and head upstream, bushbashing a little to reach the moraine. There is camping here, but water is generally found only in side creeks.
Unnamed hut 3.5 km south of Basins Hut : Glenthorn Station (private)
Basins Hut and the hut to the north : both Glenthorn Station (private)
Avoca Hut (CUTC) : A six-bunk hut.

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Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint,
in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club