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An overlooked sanctuary

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September 2022 Issue

Mason Bay Hut, Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island. By Ting Zheng

Many walkers will have been to Mason Bay, but few will have wandered around the pristine one-of-a-kind mānuka forest. This forest is home to many native birds and offers astonishing beauty and tranquillity. 

Tucked into the fringe of this forest, almost blending in perfectly to the evergreen foliage, is the 20-bunk Mason Bay Hut. 

Mason Bay is about 15 minutes from the hut, and on fine days with clear air, from the beach you can see as far as the south-east coast of Fiordland National Park.

The hut is on both the Southern Circuit and Northwest Circuit tracks and can be reached by walkers in a few hours from Freshwater Hut. However, an easier approach is by plane which includes a scenic flight over the island and a landing on the golden beach at Mason Bay. 

38.5km from Halfmoon Bay
2-3 days from Halfmoon Bay
Mason Bay Hut ($5, 20 bunks)
By plane or from Halfmoon Bay on the Southern Circuit or Northwest Circuit