The Welcome rock blog

Connect with History at Welcome Rock

The historic Southland ski hut marks the start of Welcome Rock’s Roaring Lion loop trail. The views from this site are stunning looking across the Matarua Valley to the Eyre Mountains. This Department of Conservation historic ski hut sits beside the Nevis Road and offers shelter from the elements in preparation for starting your ride/walk/overnight adventure at Welcome Rock.

Just a short 8km uphill drive from Garston will get you to this site. Travelling in a 2WD vehicle during our season October – March is fine. A 4WD is required during the winter months.

Recreational skiing in the 1930’s was in its infancy in NZ but was gaining in popularity. The Southland section of the NZ Alpine Club visited Garston in June 1933 where, after climbing the hill, they had great excitement in being able to ski at relatively low altitude, after a few meetings the ski club was born.

Legend has it that a truck delivering the ski hut ended up inadvertently choosing the final site for the hut. With steam pouring from the engine, the 1917 Dennis truck crawled up the steep Nevis Road where is eventually broke down a couple of kms short of the ski field, and that was where the prefabricated hut was assembled.

BEFORE YOUR TRIP: Download either the Great Rides or Great Hikes App to your phone, select Welcome Rock Trails and start your tour!

COVID POLICY: We are happy to move your booking or refund you if your booking is affected by Covid restrictions.

WINTER: Riding is not permitted during winter. Walking to the Mud/Slate Huts can be arranged directly with us during winter.

THE TRAIL: The Trail is open for hikers & bikers from 1 October until 30 April.

RED SHED: Open & Available all year round, located near the homestead!

MUD HUT & SLATE HUT: Access these huts along the trail. Slate Hut is 2kms from trail head, Mud Hut is 10kms from trail head.

Thank you for your interest and enjoy your journey!
Tom & Katie