Jan 16 2019

Green Hut, Pulpit Rock, Dark Horse Hut

Published by under Hikers

Location: 50 km from car park.
Click Silver Peaks Forest for background information.
No. 21 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Green Hut & Pulpit Rock return or via Possum Hut. C Williams. Year Round. Long.”
19. 16/1/2019. Trampers. Dark Horse Hut. Leader: Janine.

Route map, courtesy Janine. [Read right to left, cars to Hut. Ed.]

After the dawning of a cracker day, 14 trampers set of from the car park. We gathered up another couple passing through Dunedin then all converged on Semple Road where we met our search and rescue partners, Dermot and Cuchulainn. Due to the length of the tramp we wasted no time striding out along the Silverpeaks track, not stopping for morning tea (no groans were heard) till we reached the old Green Hut site.

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

After light conversation and a cuppa with a division of OTMC trampers also passing through we tackled the steady climb up to Pulpit Rock. Here one member recently returned after illness wisely decided to go no further and rather than toil in the escalating heat to wait our return. In contrast Dermot ,who was limited with time constraints decided to push on at speed to try and reach this mysterious never seen hut. The remaining 15 trampers continued at a more suited pace!

The steady climb continued through diverse landscape, at times very long tussucks or very rocky tracks until other commitments saw another two trampers turn back and a further two felt they had reached their limits for the day.

Group past Pulpit Rock. (Helen pic and caption.)

We just bipassed the last turn off to Jubilee Hut, only to met up with Dermot on his return with news that a machette would be really handy. Knowing the ’bush bashing’ needed would only last 4-500 metres we toiled on to reach that magical marker showing the track down into the painted forest.

The Dark Horse Hut was built in 1988 with remains of the Green Hut and while reasonably sturdy offers only basic shelter and maybe what could be called a couple of bunks! This trip was a first for many of those in the group, it was a welcome lunch stop for 11 trampers and it was a delight to sink down into the mystical painted forest.

Dark Horse Hut. (Janine pic and caption.)

Another view of Dark Horse Hut. (Ross pic.)

Although the return home did involve some initial ‘grunt work’ uphill it was thankfully mostly downhill gradient with a little welcome breese on occasion to cool the heat. Sadly the days exertions had taken us a little longer than hoped and we were too late to make the coffee shop before closing, nevertheless a productive day was had by all, the complete tramp covered 14.6km. – Janine.

18. 7/2/2018. Both. Green Hut and Pulpit Rock. M. Leaders: Clive and Dave.

On Wednesday we had a very good turn out of 36 hikers and trampers.   The day was overcast so ideal for walking. 25 minutes from the Semple road car park had us all nicely warmed up so time for a cuppa.

(Clive pic)

After morning tea, 16 trampers (a good number!) left for the Green hut clearing. The hikers followed on behind to the old Green Hut site. It was a pleasant walk generally on the ridge through the Manuka and regrowth. After a short break at the clearing it was then steadily uphill for the trampers but ok – we finally got out of the Manuka and could see the track ahead of us leading up to Pulpit rock. There was a cool breeze as we climbed.


Nearly there. (Phil pic and caption.)

Finally we made it to the site. We climbed up to the summit – precariously looking round and taking photos of the amazing views 360 degrees around us.


We gotta get out of here. (Phil pic and caption.)

Lunch was had in the shelter of a ridge and tussocks near the rock. It was then a pleasant walk back as the breeze had abated. A group of 8 headed down in search of an emergency hut and found it – even with a good water source nearby.

The hikers had lunch at the Green Hut site (where the seats used to be!!

(Clive pic)

It was then down and out and a muster for all and an enjoyable coffee at Waitati. – Clive.

17. 11/5/2016. Trampers. Pulpit Rock. Medium.  Leader: Arthur H.
And summer continued for another day. …
The sky was clear and sunny, the wind was a warm northerly – perfect for our day’s tramp.
We arrived at Mountain Road to find several vehicles already in the car park. We guessed, correctly, that “The Green Hut Group” was out track clearing.

Setting out, we walked for about 15 minutes before stopping for morning tea at the junction where the track from Swampy joins.

The next stop was at “Green Hut” – the hut had been long gone, but the clearing where it once stood is still referred to as Green Hut.

Morning Tea. (Helen pic and caption)

Green Hut stop. (Helen pic)

We were able to admire the 2 recently installed bench seats at the site – actually only one could be admired as the other had already been destroyed! Sadly,  there is no shortage of morons in N.Z. these days.
Continuing on,  the track trends ever upward. We encountered the track clearers at various spots, and stopped briefly to talk, and especially to let them know that all their hard work is much appreciated.
After passing the top of Rosella Ridge, it was only a short distance up to Pulpit Rock. As we approached, 2 of the track clearers were having a brief rest on top before resuming work.

Standing on top of the rock, …

View from top of rock

One of the great views from up on the rock. (Margreet pic and caption)

… one had to hold on tightly to one’s hat as the wind coming up from the other side was strong! Time for lunch. We moved back a few metres to be out of the wind, and settled down in the tussock to enjoy the magnificent view, and our food.


Lunch on top. (Helen pic and caption)

Afterwards we walked a further 2-3 hundred metres on the track towards “Jubilee Hut”, so as to be able to see “The Pulpit” better.

Pulpit Rock. (Helen pic and caption)

Pulpit Rock. (Helen pic and caption)

No one had thought to prepare a sermon (least of all the leader), so a little reluctantly we turned for home.

We travelled back on the same track, again passing the workers. Two of them had scrub bars, the others using hand operated implements. Mostly downhill now, but some of our group don’t enjoy going down too much as it is a bit hard on the knees.

At “Green Hut” it was discovered that 6 trampers could comfortably sit side by side on the one remaining seat.


On seat at Green Hut site. (Helen pic and caption)

It was most pleasant there in the sun, but after 10 minutes we resumed our journey. We were back at the cars at 2.35 p.m., very satisfied with ourselves. The wind had not bothered us at all except for right on top of Pulpit Rock.
We stopped at Waitati for a while on the way home, to discuss life in general.
On the day, 10 trampers had covered 11 km. It had been a wonderful day’s tramp. – Arthur H.
16. 4/12/2013. Both. Green Hut site and Pulpit Rock. Medium. Leaders: Lester and Elaine.
Trampers: Silver Peaks No. 2. From the car park, the Green Ridge track was dry, not muddy as it usually is. We had morning tea at the Green Hut site. It was a very hot sunny day.
They we went up the Green Hill track and on to Pulpit Rock, over to Silver Peaks No. 2 to look down the Devils Staircase, returned back to head west to the top of the Painted Forest  to look for Dark Horse Hut. We never found the hut. (Have worked out since [see Hamills book p. 7.08] that we would have had to go on another 10-20 minutes, through a gully and on to the next knoll.) Lunched at the top of the forest and then returned to the car park.
We saw five members of the Green Hut track clearing group. We met a couple from Germany. Also another party of three people and their dog. Very hot tramping conditions – mid-20s. – Heb.
Hikers: Green Hut.
GPS of route

GPS of route

Although the return trip is only 8 km, some of the steeper slopes make it seem longer. – Ian
15. 2/5/2012. Both. Green Hut site and Pulpit Rock. Medium. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.
The entrance track was much improved. Thanks to the Green Hut Track-Clearing Group for working on some of the worst bits, even to the extent of putting in some steps!

One of the steeper parts of the track.

Hikers lunching at Green Hut site (at same time, as it happened, the Trampers had reached Pulpit Rock).




Doug on Pulpit Rock holding the GPS.

(The GPS  display (if you click the above pic to enlarge enough Ed.) shows an altitude of 770mtrs, a distance of 5.35km from the cars, and 1hr 33min to get there.[moving time.] Not back for a slippery track and 3 old codgers and a youngster. – Ken)
14. 7/4/2010. Both. Green Hut site. Option to Pulpit Rock. Medium. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Wendy.
Circumstances prevented any of the leaders exercising their full role so Peter was the one to fill the position. Les was still trying out his leg injury, from which he was not fully  recovered and could come only a limited way.

“Gone about as fur as he can go.” Les and Margaret (Bill pic)

The option for the club’s trampers to make their way on to Pulpit Rock was not taken advantage of as only two of them were able to turn out on the day and were happy to stay with the hikers.

The two trampers. Ian and Doug. (Bill pic)

We were 16 all up and went in via the track skirting Hightop, the first road entrance, as the second one had been rendered difficult by the badly-deteriorated road surface leading to it. We lunched at the Green Hut site.

Relaxed lunch at Green Hut site. Bill, Fred, Doug, Graham

During the day, we enjoyed the passing company of of several other groups, two of which were people on their way either to or from Jubilee Hut. Needless to say, their members were MUCH younger and fitter than us oldies.
On our return, we stopped for a rest at the signposts at the base of Green Ridge.

A rest at the 3-way junction at the base of Green Ridge. Evelyn, Elaine, Lesley, Bev, Dot. (Bill pic)

Same place as last pic. Hightop in background. Evelyn, Doug, Peter, Neil, Fred. (Bill pic)

The day could have been sunnier, especially when a bracing draft or two stirred us when seated at lunch, but it certainly kept us from overheating on the track. – Ian.
14. 12/3/2008. Trampers. Pulpit Rock from Semple Road. Leaders: Keith & Glenis
13. 21/11/2007. Hikers. Green Hut. Medium. Leaders: Bob and Evelyn.

Green Hut site

Eight hikers set out for the Silver Peaks to do the Green Hut track. A favourite area for all.

As we started off we were a bit concerned that the weather was really heating up, and such was the case. However, we took our time and found an area with some bushes to provide a bit of shade for our morning tea break. Then off again, at a pretty leisurely pace, which was the story of our day. Evelyn & Bob were very considerate and thoughtful leaders, letting us rest frequently and regroup. Finally got to ‘Green Hut’ where of course there is no longer a hut but a lovely green space. Here we came upon a young man who had tramped in the night before, about 11pm, without a torch he said, because he didn’t need it. He had made himself a very neat little bivouac with some old iron from the original Green hut, and some manuka branches, propped up with a couple of sticks. Underneath he’d spread his ground sheet and sleeping bag. He had his dog for company. He was leaving just after us as he had to pick up his children from school. He said he was going to take them in there in the holidays so sounds as though they were going to have a great experience, camping out in the Silver Peaks. After a leisurely lunch in the very welcome shade of some bush above the track, we set off for home. We came back via the Mountain Rd. track and had a welcome sit in the shade by the side of the road while Les and Peter walked the 1½ kms back to get the cars. All in all, a good tramp but made rather more difficult because of the heat. – Bev.

12. 6/9/2006. Trampers. Windy Ridge, Green Hut, Pulpit Rock. Medium.Leaders: Judy G, Tash.

11. 6/9/2006. Hikers. Green Hut. Easy+. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Joyce.
10b. 23/2/2005. Trampers. Pulpit Rock. Leaders: Bob H, Tom & Dorothy.
10a. 23/2/2005. Hikers. Green Hut. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Carmel.
9. 12/5/2004. Trampers. Green Hut, Pulpit Rock. Medium. Leaders: Bob H, Tom and Dorothy,
8. 12/5/2004. Hikers. Green Hut. Easy. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Nancy.
7. 18/2/2004. All. Green Hut. Easy+. Leaders: Helen S, Kerri.
6. 29/1/2003. Hikers. Green Hut. Medium. Leaders: Nancy, Bev H.
5. 23/1/2002. Alt. Green Hut Site. Leaders: Val, Nancy, Eleanor.
4. 2/8/2000. Green Hut. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Wendy.
3. 25/3/1998 Green Hut. Leaders: Les S, Frank, Bev H
2. 8/10/1997. Green Hut Area (Pulpit Rock).
Leaders: Jack R, Graham, Claude.
1. 25/11/1988 Green Hut, Pulpit Rock Leaders: Claude, Rob C, Eleanor B

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