Bob was to be absent when I arrived - though a cross outside hints at possible reasons. Hut book entries suggest he maintains a presence in spirit, at least, but the only movement I heard was the continuous scampering of mice. Bob's Hut (8 beds, matresses, fireplace, stream water) lies on large flats at the first main forks of the West Branch of the Matakitaki river where Mt Maling Creek heads west. The broad grassy flats stretch about 1km downriver to where the valley becomes gorgy.
Both the Maling Creek and West Matakitaki are covered by mature, and fairy open beech upstream. Marked tracks lead up the Matakitaki and an unnamed creek heading NW. The route up the Matakitaki to Three Tarns Pass however, had not been cut for sometime (March 2007) - though markings were reasonable as far as the end of the beech. A good, well maintained sidle track leads from the flats below the hut to the Matakitaki forks for the East Matakitaki or the roadend.
Matakitaki roadend (M30 703100): 26km cut track.
East Matakitaki Hut: 2-4 hours (8.5km). Good, cut & marked sidle track.
Ada Pass Hut / St James Walkway via Three Tarn Pass: 6-12 hrs (13.5km). Marked track as far as end of beech. Unmarked route on river flats/tussock to tarns then scree scramble over pass. Cut, unmarked track resumes at bushedge on true right 2km above Ada Pass Hut.