It was 30°C and crowded in Queenstown; I needed to get out. Plans for my days off had fallen through so the morning had been spent poring over maps and trawling the internet for ideas. While I was sceptical that the forecast heavy rain would actually reach this drought stricken area, I still wanted to avoid any stream crossings which could become dicey. I also wanted a sense of freedom and wide open space. So eventually I settled on Meg Hut in the Pisa Range.
But 30°C was far too hot to contemplate climbing for two hours up the arid, treeless hills so I while away the heat of the day lounging under a tree in Arrowtown, contentedly slurping a thickshake. By the time I set of from the Cardrona Valley on Shanks' pony there was high cloud cover and a breeze, making it merely quite warm rather than absolutely roasting. Even so, within minutes my drinking water turned disgustingly tepid.
Built in the 1860s as a musterers' hut, with extensions and upgrades through the twentieth century, Meg Hut has been restored by DOC and is quite spacious and tidy inside. Despite the hut being unoccupied I opted to pitch my tent as I hadn't field tested it yet.
It was a delightfully peaceful spot, with a backdrop of rocky tors and the gentle murmuring of the brook. The perfect place to relax for a couple of nights away from the summer crowds.