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County Stream

POINT (170.848303 -43.161366)

Moonbeam to County Hut
From Moonbeam Hut, follow the track up to the bridge turn-off. From there, the overgrown route up County Stream is marked, often only with tape, all the way to Bloomfield Creek. It’s quite rough in places and maintenance is intermittent. Just before O’Reilly Creek climb around a steep section.
County Hut (six bunks) is in good condition and as marked on the true right just down from Bloomfield Creek. County Stream is deceptively strong and fast here : crossing options to the hut are poor and may not be possible during rain or snow-melt. One of the better options has usually been opposite the overgrowing track up to the hut from the river.
Staying on the true left and continuing upstream, one large boulder 250 metres upstream of Canary Creek is challenging ; after that the riverbed offers surprisingly good, easy travel on the true left all the way to J34 364792 / BW18 263 176, 300 metres from the end of the scrub where the river enters a gorge. Now cross to the true right where travel is easier (the gorge is only bluffed on the true left).
Alternatively, if County Stream is impassable, suck it up, stay on the true left, climb 60 metres, then sidle through the scrub. The olearia is thick and nasty, there is a ravine to cross near the end, and 300 metres may well take about three hours.
Time : From the Waitaha swingbridge 1 ½ km above Moonbeam Hut to the end of the scrub in County Stream, probably more than one long day

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