Birding · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Permit required - New Zealand has unique system of simple (mostly) back country huts that typically have wood/coal heating stoves, plastic-covered mattresses, clean water and bunkhouse communal living. Space can be limited and permits are required. Check in the LDOC offices of major towns for permits. Good information can be found here- doc.govt.nz/
Head back down the Flats Hut trail until you see a trail heading right and uphill. You start with a vigorous climb until the trail eases up and crosses the steep beech forests. Look for Kea and KaKa parrots foraging high in the trees. About halfway there, you'll encounter a large scar made by a recent avalanche. If you are in a large group it is suggested you spread out and don't stop to take photos (even though it's irresistible as proven by every runner ever). Continue on with some more stream crossings and steeper climbs that you don't notice because you're so excited to arrive at the Falls Hut.
Flora & Fauna
Southern Beech forests, Kea and Kaka parrots, Bellbird, Grey warbler, South Island Robin, Fantail and Brown creeper, Lancewood plants, Kiwi (you'll hear them but probably not see them), invasive Australian possoms.