Keen to watch the sun go down while bathing in your own private bath up a mountain?!
Check out Welcome Rock in Garson!
I had heard friends mention this hike and a couple of them stayed in Slate hut this summer, so I was extremely excited to go and check out beautiful spot.
The first night I arrived with friends we stayed in the ‘Red Shed’. This is an old shearing shed that has been renovated into accommodation. It has two outdoor baths which you can just run from the taps to relax in and watch the stars at night.
We had dinner & breakfast provided (lasagna & salad for dinner, chocolate brownies for dessert + eggs, toast, jam, coffee, tea for breakfast). The best part is that you know the eggs are free range because the hens like to pop by to say hi in the morning!
The 27km trail starts down the road at an old ski hut. You need to drive about 10 mins up the Nevis road to reach the ski hut where you can park your car. The whole track is relatively flat and an easy walk + bike. Tom, the owner cut this whole track by hand, which took him 2 years!!
The whole thing is a loop track. We were staying at Slate Hut for the night so could either walk 3km into the hut or go the long way (24km) and finish at the hut. We decided to do the full walk and finish at Slate Hut, then hike the 3km out the next morning.
Along the way are old artifacts and remains from the gold mining days along with info plaques. It’s incredible to think of how hard life was for people back then and the back breaking work they needed to do just to earn enough to buy a new pair of gumboots.
Halfway along you will come across the Mud Hut. This is a genuine old, restored mud hut. You can also book to stay the night here! It has 2 bunk beds and an outdoor bath too. We thought it was a good spot to have lunch & enjoy the view down into the valley.
Continue and eventually you will pop around the front of the mountain to epic views and the Slate Hut. This rustic little hut is quite charming. With a big deck to relax and soak in the sun, a double bed + bunks and the infamous outdoor bathtub!
We lit the fire and filled the tub. It takes around 2 hours to heat so we left the fire burning and went to check out Welcome Rock, just up the track.
The views are just mind boggling and layers upon layers of mountains as far as the eye can see.
There is a sign explaining that there is always a bottle of whiskey hidden up at the rock for weary travellers to enjoy a drink. We went hunting and found the infamous whiskey! But unfortunately, it had been drunk dry haha.
Heading down we made dinner. A BBQ dinner and breakfast were brought up to the hut for us, we just needed to cook the meat. It was a yummy meal which we matched with a Mt Rosa 2016 Pinot Noir (so good).
Once the bath was warm enough, we took turns having a soak as the sun dropped down and we got this incredible sunset.
We finished the evening watching the light fade from Welcome Rock.
We could have staying in the tub all night and watched the stars come out, but we had 3 of us there so someone would have missed out. Instead, I went out and took some photos of the stars and enjoyed the peace and quiet under the milky way.
It was an early rise the next morning because the girls had to get back for work, so we got up and hiked out to the cars at sunrise. We didn’t end up cooking breakfast, but if you do stay – make sure to enjoy a full morning so you can eat eggs on the deck and have a relaxed start to the day!
This would be an epic night away for couples or families with younger kids wanting to do a first overnight hiking experience. It’s not a taxing walk and if you bring up bikes, they can bike part of or all the track too!
- If you do want to come up for a day to hike/bike the track it costs $20per person as it is all on private land.
- The huts (Mud Hut & Slate Hut) must be pre booked.
You can book extras:
- a service where Katie & Tom will bring your bags up to the hut for you.
- to get a BBQ dinner & breakfast brought up to the hut for you.
- linen and towels so the beds will be made, and towels provided for the bath.
We had the whole shebang and would recommend it. So easy to just reach the hut and have everything there and waiting!
To find out more about the trails or to book - https://www.welcomerock.co.nz/
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