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Perfect perch

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May 2018 Issue

Kelly Knight Hut, Ruahine Forest Park

The western Ruahine Range offers some exceptional tramping country, including the Pourangaki River, which drains some of the park’s highest mountains.

One of the area’s most accessible huts is Kelly Knight, reached on a good track. You see the eight-bunk hut well before you reach it; a white-walled haven perched on a pleasant terrace above the Pourangaki River. The hut is named after a local hunter and is popular with deerstalkers, especially during the autumn when the stags roar.

The route starts on a track through private farmland and leads to the Ruahine Forest Park boundary, where a benched trail to the hut begins through the bush.

Other routes include a high-level traverse past Purity Hut, over Wooden Peg, and down a steep track into the Pourangaki Valley. From Kelly Knight Hut there’s also a track that climbs steeply onto the northern end of the Whanahuia Range or a river-route upstream to Pourangaki Hut.

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Total Ascent
Easy / Moderate
3.5-4hr to hut
Kelly Knight Hut ($5, eight bunks)
Mangakukeke Road end. Permission required to cross Kohunui Station (P: 06 382 5577) well in advance. No access during the spring calving season. A large slip on the track, near the Wooden Peg track junction, can be avoided using a detour route.

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