DOC has developed an all-mod-cons cabin in Rimutaka Forest Park.
Coast Road Cabin is much more than your average hut, with three bedrooms, full kitchen facilities, heating, lighting, and, get this: hot showers.
The cabin is at the entrance to the Catchpool Valley, on Coast Road, near Wellington. DOC said the area attracts 25,000 visitors a year. The cabin sleeps up to 13, and is only available to be booked for a single group at a cost of $200 a night.
While the cabin has a microwave, toaster, and flush toilets, visitors will still need to bring their own bedding. The bedrooms have a combination of double beds and single bunk beds, and there’s a double sofa bed in the lounge which sleeps two.
You can drive straight to the cabin; it’s about 45 minute’s drive from Wellington and is just before the Catchpool Valley trailhead entrance.
“The Catchpool and the Orongorongo valleys are classic Kiwi weekend destinations. We’re pleased to add a new overnight option to make getting out into the hills easier for more people,” said Jace Mace, Kapiti Wellington operations manager.
DOC is expanding its bookable hut network this summer, providing booking options for bunks in huts on the Mt Holdsworth to Jumbo circuit in Tararua Forest Park.
The cabin can be booked online on DOC’s website.
Five tramps from Coast Road Cabin
Distance: 5.2km one way, return via same track
Time: 4hr return
Starting from the Catchpool Valley car park, this is Rimutaka’s most popular tramp. Climb through mixed podocarp and broadleaf forest along the Catchpool Stream, eventually reaching the highest point in the saddle between Catchpool Valley and Orongorongo River. On a hot day, don’t miss the swimming holes at Turere Stream at the end of track.
Five Mile Loop Track
Distance: 3.8km loop
The lower section of the former Five Mile Track, once known as the ‘canal of mud’ which formed the main track between the Wainuiomata and Orongorongo valleys from 1914 to 1981. Now a dry and well-traveled track, it passes through mature hard beech in the lower reaches of Graces Stream.
Middle Ridge Track
Distance: 3.2km return via same track
This short out-and-back follows the ridge between Graces and Catchpool streams, linking up with Clay Ridge and Five Mile Loop tracks, and offering good views of Catchpool Valley along the way.
Butcher Track Loop
Starting from the Orongorongo Track, Butcher splits off after 10min and a steep climb leads to Butcher Stream to 400m, offering views of Wellington harbour. Return via same track or for round trip, head north to Cattle Ridge Track and rejoin the Orongorongo Track near Turere Stream.
Haurangi Hut via Orongorongo Track
Time: 3hr to the hut
This 10-bunk serviced hut is reached via Orongorongo Track from the Catchpool car park. There are two options from Turere Bridge (end of Orongorongo Track): follow the Orongorongo River (if water levels are low) or walk the Big Bend Track.