Benmore Hut (Thirteen Mile Bush ) Location : Approximately an hour & a half out of Christchurch . This seldom used track is accessed through private property, either Benmore Station or Annavale Station. Permission must be sought first. A 4wd is preferable to access the track start. Time : Approximately 2 - 3 hours with a moderate grade Track : The start of the track is somewhat hard to find ,although it is marked with a small white marker buried in the ground on a terrace above the stream by the fence line. Regardless , it is an easy stroll up steam to the bush line & a cattle fence , which is easier to lift & duck under than try to negotiate the fence it self. Markers are easy to follow from here on , with the track meandering up the stream between fern forest & regenerating beech for some small distance. After 15 minutes , the track leaves the stream & a steepish climb begins. From the top, the track sidles above bluffs, though swampy sections & gullies to the hut. Of particular note , are the ropes that some thoughtful person has attached to trees to assist in three of the gullies . From about the halfway mark, the track tends to deteriorate through lack of maintence , recent wind & snow falls, but the markers are easy enough to follow. Although the surrounding hills are hard to see through the regenerating beech which is dominant here, there are many large totaras in this bush with lots of birdlife. Bellbirds are in abundance, with tomits,fantails & kea. Hut: The hut is a small corrugated iron A frame situated in a rough clearing atop a saddle. It contains a 2 person platform &a long sacking bunk, also 2 person. A small coal range type fire, with a new flue, compliments this hut , although somewhat smoky, it helps to keep the sandflies at bay. Water is from a rainwater barrel with a tap, as there no streams close by. The toilet is an absolute classic with the local wildlife feeling free to use it as well. For those inclined, the track,as it is , continues on past the hut, to the tops of the Benmore range .