A few years ago we went on very interesting trip to the Macaulay Hut in the Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park. This hut is 17km up the Macaulay River and access is by 4WD vehicles, walking or mountain biking.
Cross the Macaulay River at the ford and look out for the DOC signs on the riverbed directing you towards Macaulay Hut Track. Keep to the 4WD track initially as this is a public access easement through private farmland. Further up valley when you’re in Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park, you are free to roam in the riverbed area, which is generally faster when on foot.
This is what you shouldn’t do….we followed Graham’s brother who ‘knew the way”, it took us a couple of hours to get up the river. We headed up the river before the ford and crossed the river several times, just for fun! You can see in the photo that Graham’s brothers truck has quite a bit more clearance than ours, so the river crossings for us at times were very – exciting!!
It doesn’t look it but some parts of the river were quite deep!
We had our lunch at the hut, taking in the scenery and remoteness of the area. On the return trip, surprisingly our lead vehicle found the track back down the other side of the river to the ford, which took about twenty minutes! Beautiful scenery and a great day out!
There is even a bath at the Hut 🙂 What a great spot to watch the stars!!
Lilybank Road to Macaulay Hut – The scenery in this area is outstanding.
Mountain biking – After crossing Macaulay River the ride is on a well-formed 4WD track, however you may need to push your bike as you near Macaulay Hut. The hut is a 14 bunk Lodge type accommodation with impressive scenery, fantastic facilities and a must visit place.
Tramping – 18km and about 5hrs
How to get there:
On the eastern side of the Tekapo township, turn off Highway 8 onto the unsealed Lilybank Road and follow this for approximately 20 km to the Macaulay River. Although this stretch of road is navigable by 2WD vehicles the remaining 47 km is strictly 4WD only
Dog access: Dogs must be confined to your vehicle until you are through the private farmland and passed the signpost for the conservation park boundary.