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Havelock River


The Havelock River provides access to a range of straightforward peaks on the Main Divide, the Cloudy Peak Range and also the glaciated peaks of the northern Two Thumb Range including the challenging Mt D’Archiac. The alpine rock climbing on the south-western aspects of Cloudy Peak is also accessed from the Havelock River.


Havelock River vehicle access
A DOC car park exists just beyond Mesopotamia Station and all 2WD cars should be left there. River conditions permitting, 4WDs can be taken beyond Mesopotamia Station as far as the confluence with Eric Stream, providing vehicle access to St Winifred Hut and Eric (Agony Island) Bivouac. Contact the station to get up-to-date river conditions (Malcolm and Sue Prouting, phone 03 696 3738). The usual route follows a reasonable 4WD track to the vicinity of Carneys Creek and then crosses to the middle of the riverbed to pick up the track to Curtis Memorial Hut (opposite the Forbes River). From here the route continues up the true left until opposite St Winifred Hut. A more difficult route also exists on the true right until Mistake Flats and the Mistake Flats Hut are reached.
Havelock River foot access
The shortest distance to travel on foot leaves from Erewhon Station but in this case the Clyde River must be crossed. Permission to cross station land should be obtained from Erewhon Station (Colin and Christine Drummond, phone 03 303 9739) and details left in the intentions book held at the homestead. Cross the Clyde River – always swift, prone to flooding and very seldom an easy crossing – and follow the north bank of the Havelock River until Freezing Point. Cross the river here to reach Mistake Flats Hut. If travelling further upstream, stay on the true left until opposite St Winifred Stream and cross somewhere here to reach St Winifred Stream and hut. If walking upstream from Mistake Flats, cross to the true left of the Havelock River to avoid a two kilometre section on the true right where the river abuts scrubby bluffs. Re-cross the river opposite St Winifred Stream to access St Winifred Stream and hut. If it is not possible to cross at Mistake Flats, a route exists in bush on the true right above the river, but it is airy in places with steep scrubby guts at the St Winifred Hut end. Travel further upstream beyond St Winifred Hut and Eric / Agony Island Bivouac involves passing above a long shallow gorge north of Veil Bivouac before the headwaters are reached but is generally straightforward. At the head of the valley, Disappointment Saddle provides access to peaks to the north and the Gardens of Eden and Allah.
Several Havelock valley huts can be used as climbing bases from which to access the wider area. There are no alpine huts, and high bivvys are often used for climbs of Mt D’Archiac and the more time-consuming routes on other peaks.

  • Growler Hut (DOC) : An eight-bunk concrete block hut hidden in matagouri and not visible from the riverbed, but the old 4WD track leads straight to it.
  • Forbes Bivouac (DOC) : A standard two-person bivvy in the Forbes Valley, not easily visible from the riverbed.
  • Curtis Memorial Hut (DOC) : A four-person hut on the true left of the Havelock River.
  • Mistake Flats Hut (DOC) : An eight-bunk hut situated at the back of the flats near forest at the confluence of the Forbes and Havelock Rivers.
  • St Winifred Hut (CMC) : A nine-bunk hut with a mountain radio and solar lights. It is situated at the confluence of the Havelock River and St Winifred Stream. Both these watercourses can be difficult to cross after heavy rain.
  • Eric Bivouac / Agony Island Bivouac (CMC) : This bivvy is located on Agony Island and is officially called Eric Bivouac, although it is named Agony Island Bivouac on map sheets 260-I35 / BX18. A basic, but good, weatherproof shelter, it is not derelict as indicated on those maps. Sleeps four or more on the floor.
  • Veil Bivouac (DOC) : A basic two-person bivvy.
  • Finlay Face Hut, shown on map sheets 260-I35 / BX18, has been destroyed by an avalanche.
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Type Name
Valley The Growler
Valley St Winifred Stream
Mountain Milne Pk