Mar 11 2015

Silverpeaks Station to Jubilee, Orange & Mount John Huts

Published by under Trampers,Year round

No. 53 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Jubilee Hut”

Silver Peaks Station. Distance from carpark: 43 km.

DoC Jubilee Hut information
DoC: Silver Peaks Routes: Possum Hut Route – Silver Peaks Route to Jubilee Hut – Silver Peaks Route beyond Jubilee Hut

11/3/2015. Trampers. Jubilee Hut from Silver Peaks Station.
After a doubtful start to the day with quite heavy rain during the night, [I was worried about high creek levels] 7 hardy trampers turned up for the trip to Jubilee Hut via Silverpeaks Station. We arrived there just before morning tea time so set off along the track to find a spot to stop for morning tea. Then it was on to visit Orange Hut [Homestead Hut, Christmas Creek Hut, whatever you want to call it] having missed the turn off to go down to Cave creek, which has lost it’s large white plastic container that acted as a marker for the start of the track. We then backtracked a bit to the track leading down to Cave Creek valley, & made our way over a few more creek crossings & up to Jubilee Hut for lunch.
Two of the party had their lunch on the track about 10 mins from the hut, & one of them decided to walk back out again on their own, thinking we would catch up with them later. After lunch, we went down to the creek from the hut, & Ian [being the fittest] was voted by me, to go & photograph the sign at the old Jubilee Hut site,…
Sign at site of old Jubilee Hut (Ian pic, Ken caption)

Sign at site of old Jubilee Hut (Ian pic, Ken caption)

…so we would know what it said. Then it was back along the track retracing our morning steps. When we got to the top track again, I decided that I needed to attend to a sore patch developing on my left foot, so Ian & I stopped while I attended to that. Just as I was finishing, we heard somebody calling out from nearby, & the next thing the person who had set off on their own appeared looking rather worried [lost !!] they had not noticed the sharp LH turn onto the track leading back to Silverpeaks Station homestead, & had instead gone straight ahead along the track towards Orange Hut. We pointed them in the correct direction, & they set off  with what I would imagine was some relief. Shortly after this we all met up again into one group, & set off to our next adventure !
One party member while crossing the Christmas Creek where it doubles back on itself, slipped on a rock, & very slowly, & not so gracefully, first put a hand down to steady themselves, but that didn’t work, so they ended up sitting in the creek. [Oh I wish I had my camera handy !!]  So this guaranteed a wet walk back to the cars for this person, but they did dry out rather quickly I think.
The rest of the walk out was very uneventful, compared to earlier happenings, & we all arrived back at the cars safe & well. We arrived back at Mosgiel about 5pm from memory.
Something we learnt today was :
1: We MUST stay together better as a group, or one day somebody will get properly lost.
2: Walking poles are handy for crossing creeks, even if you don’t think you need them!!
We walked 16km
3.8km/hr ave.
Climbed 876mtrs.
Max elev. 426mtrs.
– Ken.
12/2/2014. Trampers. Three Huts.
Distance to Jubilee Hut without going to Christmas Creek Hut =15.75km
Add on another 1 1/2 – 2 km for the extra distance to Christmas Creek Hut.
Walking time = 4hrs 25min; Moving Ave = 3.6km/hr; Total ascent = 919 mtrs.
7 hardy souls turned up at 8:30 on a wet misty day at the Mosgiel car-park to go to Silverpeaks Station for our tramp to Mt. John Hut/Christmas Creek Hut/Jubilee Hut.
It was good to see that the ones going on the Motatapu trip were carrying their large tramping packs filled with a bit more weight than they would normally carry.
It took an hour to drive to the starting point, & as it was not looking brilliant weather wise, we decided against going up to Mt. John Hut, & proceeded along the track a bit further for morning tea break. The double crossing of Christmas creek was done without mishap, & we continued on to the turn-off to Cave creek valley.
Most of us dropped our packs here & carried on to Christmas Creek Hut, [which is also know as Homestead Hut, & Orange Hut.] …
Orange Hut

Some of the party at Orange Hut, also known as Homestead Hut, and Christmas Creek Hut. (Ken pic and caption)

… before returning & heading down to Cave Creek & the walk up the valley to Jubilee Hut.
The track above the boundary gate is getting badly overgrown with bracken fern, but it is still relatively easy going, but we got rather wet from the knees down as the scrub was holding water from the rain showers.
Up to this point we had only worn our rain jackets for a short time, during a light shower, but as we approached Jubilee Hut the rain drops started appearing again, so we managed to get to the hut before the weather let loose with a heavy shower which continued right through our lunch break, & beyond.

George writing in the Jubilee Hut visitors book. Note the inclement weather through the window. (Ken pic and caption)

After finishing lunch, we were all sitting around wondering how much longer the heavy rain was going to last, when it started to ease, & the visibility improved enough so we could look back down valley & see Christmas Creek Hut, so we decided to put on wet weather gear again, & start heading back to the cars.
By the time we got to the end of the Cave Creek valley, the rain had ceased, so it was off with the wet weather gear again. The only problems with the Cave Creek crossings  were some wet feet, & Ken landing on his butt after stepping on a slippery rock. Just as well he had on his waterproof leggings, or he would’ve got a wet butt, as well as one boot full of water.
We made it back to the cars before the approaching rain, which we had seen coming some time before, & had a wet ride all the way back home.
There were some very tired trampers at the end of the day, they were not used to carrying the bigger packs with more weight in them, however, it was a good opportunity to ‘shake-down’ the equipment. – Ken
15/5/2013. Trampers. Mount John Hut and Beyond.
Route We walked 13.5km 4km/hr ave 3h 22m moving climbed 814m !!! max elev. 652m

Route of tramp, courtesy Ken. We walked 13.5km, 4km/hr ave. 3h 22m moving. Climbed 814m !!! Max elev. 652m

The day started at 8:30 from Mosgiel carpark, with a very misty/foggy outlook on the Taieri, but we were hopeful that it would be clearer inland. When we were about 3/4 of the way to Hindon, the fog/mist just disappeared, & we were looking at quite a nice day.

We arrived at Silverpeaks station at 9:30. & set off towards Mt. John Hut where we had morning tea, & examined the log entries carved into the woodwork of the hut. [There is no log book in the hut.]

Morning tea at Mt John Hut.

Morning tea at Mt John Hut. (Ken pic and caption)

Looking back down at Mt John Hut and Christmas Creek

Looking back down at Mt John Hut and Christmas Creek (Ken pic and caption)

After leaving the hut we made our way up the track towards the top of Mt. John, but we took a wrong turn, which led us off to the NE side of Mt. John. However as it was already 12:30 when we reached the top, we decided to have lunch in the sun, & admire the views in all directions.

Wenita wasteland from our lunch stop. (Ken pic and caption)

Wenita wasteland from our lunch stop. (Ken pic and caption)

We then retraced our steps back to the car, & arrived back in Mosgiel at 4:00pm.

Climbing Mt. John was a bit of a grunt at times, & only suitable for the fitter members. If we had gone to our original destination of Popular Hut, that would’ve been another 3hrs or more walking. [Estimate], & it’s a long climb back up again!!! – Ken

5/1/2011. Trampers. Orange and Jubilee Huts from Silver Peaks Station.
16 -17km, including side trip to Christmas Creek Hut. Numerous creek crossings. If the creeks are high, you will get wet feet.
A reasonably hard 8-9 hr. day if you include travelling and break stops. Fortunately, 4WD road along Christmas Creek true right largely follows contour line with relatively short ups and downs.

GPS of routes Homestead/Christmas Creek/Orange Hut (left fork) and Jubilee Hut. (Courtesy Ken)

Double ford on Christmas Creek. 2nd out of sight. Dry detour to left if water high. (Ken pic)

Track beside Cave Creek.

Track washout. Cave Creek. (Ken pic)

Gate on track up Cave Creek. Heavy bracken overgrowth in places.

Sign indicating ABC Cave to right, Mountain Rd car park to left, and 100m (seemed much longer!) up to Jubilee Hut,

Jubilee Hut. (Ken pic)

Bunks inside Jubilee Hut. (Ken pic)


Steep Climb out of Cave Creek crossing. (Ken pic)

Crossing Christmas Creek on emerging from Cave Creek gully (Ken pic)

29/12/2010. Orange/Homestead/Christmas Creek Hut  from Silver Peaks Station. -‘ recce’.

Morning Tea stop on ‘recce’. (Ken pic)

Jubilee Hut from Homestead Hut. (Ken pic)

Mount John Private Hut, Silver Peaks Station. (Ken pic)

Homestead/Christmas Creek/Orange Hut. (Ken pic)

Plastic jerry can marker at top of track forking right to Jubilee Hut. (Ken pic)

Track to Jubilee Hut. Devil’s Staircase in background upper left. (Ken pic)

24/3/1999. Jubilee Hut and return. Leaders: Les & Margaret, Bev H

One response so far

One Response to “Silverpeaks Station to Jubilee, Orange & Mount John Huts”

  1.   Lesley Son 10 Jan 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Looks like you guys enjoyed an adventuresome and satisfying day tramping. Great photo’s. Jubilee Hut, just what the doctor ordered, looks great.


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