Lake Howden Trip - 1931

Monday, 12th Jan.
Left Q’town for Elfin Bay in boat at 8:30 am. Party consisted of Rob Rodger, Murray, Ronnie, & myself. Arriving at Elfin Bay, we immediately set out for the Greenstone. It was raining all the time. We had dinner about 3 miles beyond Rere Lake. We reached the Greenstone Flats late in the afternoon, and after finding Steele’s Creek (cold as ice), and the Greenstone (into which I fell & got wet), we stayed the night in Shaw’s Hut. The rain never abated all day.

Tuesday, 13th Jan.
Day dawned fine, and we set out for Howden at 7:45 am. We reached Long Point in an hour, after fording the Greenstone twice. After we had entered the bush about half-way from Shaw’s Hut, it began raining, and by the time we got to Lake Howden Huts at 2:20 pm, it was raining cats and dogs. We were accompanied from Shaw’s Hut by two other men.

Wednesday, 14th Jan
Fine day. We set off for the Routeburn, but when we reached the Earland Falls, such a volume of water was coming over that we got soaked through, and since the new track was unformed beyond the falls, and the bushes were so wet that we could not continue any further, we had to return to Howden, where we spent the rest of the day chopping wood, cleaning out the hut, etc. That night it rained, thundered and the lightning shot all round the hut.

Thursday, 15th Jan.
Set off at 8:05 am for Elfin Bay via Greenstone Valley. The Greenstone was in flood, so we did not ford it the first two times, but climbed round through the scrub and avoided the fords. All this time the rain was coming down like a cloud-burst and we were wet and cold. We stopped opposite the Greenstone Hut for dinner, which consisted of scones, butter and raisins. We arrived at Elfin Bay at 4:15 pm. Therefore, stops included, we took 8 hrs 10 mins for the day’s walk from Howden. We stayed the night in the Railway Hut at Elfin Bay. It is a cold show.

Friday, 16th Jan.
Cleaned up Hut waiting for the boat to arrive. We met Mrs & Mr Shaw, and jolly good sorts they are. Mr Shaw owns the Greenstone cattle-run. We caught the boat and arrived home at 7:30 pm. We did enjoy dinner that night! The trip lasted 5 days.

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extracted from Lindsay Stewart’s Diary (aged 13 yrs 11 mths in Jan 1931)

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