The Heckin’ Big Walk with Youthtown

Our tramp began with all ten of us piling into the van and heading to Gebbies Pass, ready for a great weekend. We started walking and were already in awe after the first fifteen minutes. Beautiful rolling hills, dreamlike flowers and birdsong filled our senses as we made our way up the 5.8km track to Packhorse Hut. As we neared the hut, the sun began to set behind us. Each time we looked back it was more beautiful than the last and had many of us gasping and exclaiming in awe and admiration. We reached the top of the hill and after a quick photo stop, approached the hut. Gratefully kicking off our boots and setting down our packs, we collapsed onto the bunks as the fire was lit. After regaining our energy, we huddled around the fire and roasted marshmallows, recalling the day and telling stories about the things we’d seen, done, felt, and heard. After eating, we crawled into our sleeping bags, said some things that we were grateful for and went to sleep, ready for the days to come.

Day two started with waking up to the sunrise streaming in through the windows. We got up, stretched, had our breakfast, packed up and headed off for another day of walking. The walking began with an exhausting uphill hike with breath-taking views. Endless fields, trees, flowers, valleys and wildlife had us looking up at the views more than we were looking down at where our feet were going. After a lunch stop at Mt. Herbert overlooking fields of yellow gauze flowers and the valley below, we continued on the trek to Rod Donald Hut. When we arrived at the hut after an exhausting 14.7km day, we were all hungry and tired. We lit the fire and hung out in the dining area, eating dinner, telling stories and spending time together. After winding down for the night, we collapsed into bed and fell straight asleep after an exhausting day.

On the third day, our morning started with a burst of motivation to get our walk completed. We practically shovelled food into our mouths, packed up our things as quickly as we could and were out the door by 7:30am. We tackled the first uphill and made great time on our way up. We stopped for two lunches and to admire the views, then continued walking up and down the grassy hills. Once we were over the very last mountain, we practically flung ourselves down the steep decline and raced down the rocky track, through bush and fields. We completed the 14.3km day in just under 6 hours, set down our packs and clambered into the van. After a quick lunch stop for some hot chips and drinks at the Hilltop Tavern, reminiscing about the last 35km, we then headed back to Christchurch, exhausted, but buzzing from the last 3 days.


By Hanna Breurkes 18yrs (Youthtown Squad Member 2019)