Home / Articles / Waypoints

Hilltop fortress

Image of the March 2019 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more articles from the
March 2019 Issue

Awapoto Hut, Abel Tasman National Park

Awapoto Hut is a little bastion of comfort 5km from the roadside car park and 300m higher. It has a narrow winding track all the way to its secluded and seldom-visited site on a high windswept, yet heavily forested, ridgetop.

The trail passes through dark and moist rainforest before breaking out into grasslands and scrubby cover where cleared portions of Wainui Bay farms impinge on the native forest and drive it back off the ridge for almost two kilometres. The clearing is not all that unwelcome, for it provides a spectacular view of the inlet and farther out into Golden Bay.

The trail traverses the rest of the open ridge and then plunges back into the forest for the last haul up a sub-summit to reach the hut turn-off at 670m.

The hut commands its site and stares out over the Awaroa Inlet and beyond into Tasman Bay and its far-off mountain ranges. It feels like a hilltop fortress with a powerful sense of directing the eyes of visitors outwards to that amazing view.

Get unlimited access for just $1.99/month

Browse all articles, trips, gear reviews and buyer’s guides for just $1.99/month. Just choose a monthly website-only subscription and use coupon code ‘unlimited’ to receive the discount.

Or view our other subscription options

Already a subscriber? Login Now. Introductory $1.99/month offer applies for the first three months of a subscription. Cancel any time. After the third payment, subscribers will be charged $6.50/month.

Total Ascent
Awapoto Hut ($5,12 bunks)
From Pigeon Saddle on Totaranui Road