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March 2017 Issue
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Camping delight atop Mt Misery

Mt Misery Hut and tarn, Nelson Lakes NP. Photo: Shaun Barnett/Black Robin Photography
27.2km from Mt Robert Rd, Lake Rotoiti; 10km from Sabine Hut; 3.9km from Mt Misery jetty
Total Ascent
2024m from Lake Rotoiti
12-14hr from Lake Rotoiti; 4.5-6hr from Sabine Hut; 3-4hr from from Mt Misery jetty
Speargrass Hut ($15, 12 bunks), Sabine Hut ($15, 32 bunks), Mt Misery Hut (free, four bunks)
By the Sabine Speargrass Track from Lake Rotoiti (the Lake Rotoroa Route is considered impassable). For an overnight trip, take a sea kayak or water taxi to either Sabine Hut or the jetty beneath Mt Misery Track
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Mt Misery Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park

Each summer, hordes of trampers traipse through Nelson Lakes National Park. In recent years, many of the tracks have become increasingly popular, even more so since the Te Araroa Trail opened, which goes right through the park. But it’s a big park, and the dedicated tramper can find places to avoid the crowds.

Mt Misery Hut is one such spot. Despite its name, the hut is perched in a fine basin on the northern end of the Mahanga Range. Unlike most huts in the park, this one is small, with just four bunks. However, acres of great rolling country, with tarns aplenty, offer excellent camping nearby.

The hut is best reached by water taxi over Lake Rotoroa to a jetty at the base of Mt Misery. From here, a steep track  grunts up through beech forest from the shores (watch out for wasps during late summer and autumn). Near the bushline, the gradient eases, leading onto tops and a poled route to the hut. Climb Mt Misery for views over Lake Rotoroa, Mt Cedric and the Travers Range.