Kime Hut, Tararua Forest Park

Kime Hut is a secluded weekend getaway in the Tararuas – if you can handle the five-hour uphill slog. Multiple routes from Kime Hut provide many options for further…

Distance
10.6km
Time
4-6hrs
Grade
Moderate

Puke Ariki, Belmont Regional Park

Belmont Regional Park stretches along the hills that form the western side of the Hutt Valley. An extensive network of tracks travels through the bush and across farmed open…

Distance
20.9km
Time
6-8hr
Grade
Moderate

Cattle Ridge Hut, Tararua Forest Park

I began the climb to Cattle Ridge Hut with the ominous words of one of my companions ringing in my ears: it’s the steepest* track in the Tararuas. While…

Distance
9.3km
Time
To Roaring Stag Hut, 4hr; To Cattle Ridge Hut, 2-2.5hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Totara Flats Hut via Tutuwai Hut, Tararua Forest Park

This trip begins in the most exciting way possible: walking across one of the country’s highest and longest suspension bridges. The bridge over the Waiohine River is 124m long…

Distance
30.2km
Time
Waiohine Gorge to Tutuwai Hut, 4hr; To Totara Flats Hut via Cone Ridge, 7.5hr; To Waiohine Gorge Road end, 3.5hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Field Hut and Table Top, Tararua Forest Park

Field Hut and Table Top, Tararua Forest Park If it has been more than a year since your last tramp, like it had been for me, the three hour…

Distance
6km
Time
1-3hr to hut
Grade
Easy

Turere Lodge, Remutaka Forest Park

When my husband wanted to go overnight tramping for his 40th birthday, along with our two kids and three other families, I was hesitant. The last time I had…

Distance
5.9km
Time
2-3hr
Grade
Easy

Dorset Ridge Hut and Mid King Bivouac, Tararua Forest Park

This three-day loop in the Tararua Range features unique huts and a nice mix of track, route and off-track travel.  We beat the Queen’s Birthday traffic by leaving Wellington…

Distance
32km
Time
o Mitre Flats Hut, 3-5hr; Mitre Flats to Dorset Ridge Hut, 7-8hr; Dorset Ridge to Mid King Bivouac, via Dorset Creek, 6-7hr; Mid King to car park, 7-8hr
Grade
Difficult

Kapakapanui Hut, Tararua Forest Park

A mid-week refresher There is nothing worse than sitting at a desk in Wellington looking out over the sun-drenched Tararua Range and not being able to lace your boots until…

Distance
10.8km
Time
Road end to hut, via southern track, 3-4hr; Hut to road end, via northern track, 2-3hr
Grade
Easy

Peggys Peak to South King, Tararua Forest Park

Most have heard of the Seven Summits challenge, where climbers scale the highest point on each of the world’s seven continents. But there’s also a seven summits challenge much…

Distance
31.6km
Time
Car park to Mitre Flats Hut, 3-4hr; Hut to Peggys Peak, 3-4hr; Peggys Peak to South King, 5-7hr; Baldy Ridge to Mitre Flats Hut, 3-4hr
Grade
Difficult

Tararua Southern Crossing, Tararua Forest Park

From Otaki Forks, a footbridge crosses the Waiotauru River and begins the climb towards Field Hut. The track initially passes through regenerating scrub, but soon enters more mature forest…

Distance
34km
Time
3-4 days. Otaki Forks to Field Hut, 2.5-3hr; To Kime Hut, 2.5-3hr; To Alpha Hut, 4-5hr; To Kaitoke via Marchant Ridge, 6-8hr
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Totara Flats Hut, Tararua Forest Park

In late summer, the grassy expanses of Totara Flats become a sun-baked golden brown, with the small totara copses offering shady lunch spots or sheltered camping. Several huts have…

Distance
To Totara Flats Hut, 10km; through trip to Waiohine Gorge Road, 18.7km
Time
Mt Holdsworth Road to Totara Flats Hut, 4-6hr; Totara Flats to Waiohine Gorge Road, 3-4hr

Waiohine Gorge to Otaki Forks via Neill Ridge, Tararua Forest Park

An alternative Southern Crossing From a casual glance at the map, Neill Ridge looks like a handy shortcut to the Tararua Southern Crossing. But look again and you’ll see…

Distance
26.1km
Time
Road end to Cone, 5hr; Cone to removed Winchcombe bivvy site, 7hr; Bivvy site to Kime Hut, 3.5hr; Kime Hut to Field Hut, 2.5hr; Field Hut to Otaki Forks, 2.5hr
Grade
Moderate

Mitre Flats Hut, Tararua Forest Park

A rewarding scramble The promise of only four hours walking and a gentle gradient lured our group on an overnight trip to Mitre Flats Hut by way of Barra…

Distance
7.35km
Time
4-5hr return
Grade
Moderate

Broken Axe Pinnacles, Tararua Forest Park

The trip begins at the Holdsworth Road end, along the easy-going track to Atiwhakatu Hut. Be warned, this track is a remarkable juxtaposition to what lies just ahead, on…

Distance
38.5km
Time
Holdsworth Lodge to Jumbo Hut, 4-5hr; Jumbo Hut to Broken Axe Pinnacles, 2-3hr; Pinnacles to Tarn Ridge Hut, 4-6hr; Tarn Ridge Hut to Mitre Flats Hut, 4-5hr; Mitre Flats Hut to Atiwhakatu Hut, 4-5hr; Atiwhakatu Hut to Holdsworth Lodge, 2-3hr
Grade
Moderate

Deliverance Cove Track, Wairarapa

Sometimes it’s nice to walk without a pack, even if that means the views you’ll find at your destination will not be as spectacular as those that can be…

Distance
3.56km
Time
2hr
Grade
Easy

Penn Creek Hut loop, Tararua Forest Park

Penn Creek Hut is a seldom-used and highly undervalued gem of a hut. A dedicated team of Victoria University Tramping Club members give the hut a solid spruce-up from…

Distance
19.3km
Time
4-6hr via Field Hut; 4-8hr via Otaki River
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Jumbo Holdsworth Circuit, Tararua Forest Park

This trip can be done in either direction. The route described here and shown on the map goes first to Jumbo Hut. From Holdsworth Lodge, strike out on the…

Distance
21.2km
Time
Holdsworth Lodge to Jumbo Hut, 3-4hr; To Powell Hut, 3-4hr; To road-end, 3-4hr Distance 21.2km
Grade
Moderate

Arete Hut via Bannister, Tararua Forest Park

Tagging the 1500ers If you’re looking for a round-trip overnighter and you’re up for two big days, Arete Hut is definitely worth the effort. It’s a two-bed charmer nestled in…

Distance
32.8km
Time
Kiriwhakapapa car park to Cow Creek Hut, 4hr; Cow Creek Hut to Arete Hut via Bannister and Arete, 8.5hr; Arete Hut to car park via Lancaster and Arete Forks Hut, 13hr
Grade
Difficult

Kaiparoro Track, Tararua Forest Park

A lonely grave  For a remote, though relatively easy, track in Tararua Forest Park, with the reward of visiting the park’s loneliest grave site, head to Mt Bruce National…

Distance
2.49km to summit
Time
5hr return
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Eastern Hutt Hut, Tararua Forest Park

A rock’n-hopping day trip A day trip to Eastern Hutt Hut is perfect for those occasions when the Tararua tops are clagged in. But because the tramp involves river travel, it’s…

Distance
8.84km to hut
Time
Car Park to Eastern Hutt Hut, 4hr
Grade
Moderate

Pinnacles Track, Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve

The badlands of Wellington A light rain fell as my boots crunched along the gravel riverbed. Ahead loomed a grey and ominous moonscape filled with towering rock formations. The conglomerate columns...

Distance
4km
Time
1.5-2hr return (riverbed only); 2.5-3hr return (riverbed/lookout)
Grade
Easy

Dundas Hut Loop, Tararua Forest Park

If you’re seeking a feeling of remoteness, without having to lug a heavy pack for days, then the route linking Dundas Ridge and Cattle Ridge in a loop from Putara…

Distance
25.5km
Time
Car park to Dundas Hut, 10hr, Dundas Hut to car park via Cattle Ridge, 10hr
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Mana Island, Mana Island Scientific Reserve

A 20-minute boat ride from the marina at Paremata was all it took to reach Mana Island. We skimmed across the sea, the houses behind us faded away and the…

Distance
6.92km
Time
2-3hr
Grade
Easy

McGregor Bivouac, Tararua Forest Park

There are many ways to get to McGregor Bivouac, a nice stopping point on a number of different accessible routes in the Tararuas and which also provides some great…

Distance
12.8km to biv
Time
8hr to McGregor Bivouac
Grade
Moderate

Bannister Crossing, Tararua Forest Park

Bannister has the reputation of being among the most arduous of all the Tararua’s many ridges. Starting from Kiriwhakapapa Campsite, the track starts out enclosed in forest; a world…

Distance
33.1km
Time
3-4 days
Grade
Difficult

Paekakariki Escarpment Track, Wellington

The newest section of the 3000km Te Araroa Trail opened in April 2016, positioned above SH1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki. From the Pukerua Bay railway station car park, head...

Distance
7.53km one way
Time
2-4hr
Grade
Easy

Roaring Stag Hut, Tararua Forest Park

A few minutes down the track, cross a swingbridge and follow the Mangatainoka River for about an hour. It’s an easy walk with several short tracks along the way down...

Distance
7.21km
Time
4-5hr
Grade
Moderate

Mt Matthews, Rimutaka Forest Park

The Rimutaka Range is the most accessible high country on offer to Wellingtonians and, while it might not be the loftiest, the range has a rugged Tararua-like aspect to…

Distance
11.7km
Time
5-7hr
Grade
Moderate

Butterfly Creek, East Harbour Regional Park

This delightful picnic and camping spot has drawn Wellington walkers for generations and provides a retreat into a secluded wee valley dominated by beech forest. Kowhai Track is the…

Distance
1.66km each way
Time
1-1.5hr return
Grade
Easy

Kaitoke to Holdsworth Lodge, Tararua Forest Park

The eastern Tararua valleys offer sheltered tramping through fine bush, with a smattering of huts, excellent camping and plenty of swimming holes. During a hot summer, this route makes…

Distance
36km
Time
3 days
Grade
Moderate

Elder Hut, Tararua Forest Park

In clear weather, the Tararuas offer lovely views and, arguably, some of the best can be enjoyed between Mt Hector and Elder Hut, which sits just above the bush…

Distance
41.3km
Time
Otaki Forks to Elder Hut via Mt Hector, 6-8hr; Mt Hector to Elder Hut, 3-4hr; Elder Hut to Otaki Forks via Waiotauru River, 8-10hr
Grade
Moderate

Girdlestone via Mitre Peak, Tararua Forest Park

The trail to Mitre Flats Hut only gains 70m but with plenty of ups and downs and tree roots. After a constant three-hour plod you,ll reach the 14-bunk Mitre…

Distance
13.7km to Girdlestone
Time
Two days return
Grade
Moderate

Pukeatua Track, Tararua Forest Park

A tramp to Pukeatua, 812m, on a clear day promises magnificent views. Starting at Otaki Forks, you quickly gained altitude for the first 30 minutes, climbing steeply among kamahi…

Distance
6.54km one way
Time
6-8hr return
Grade
Moderate

Mid Waiohine Hut, Tararua Forest Park

There are a couple of ways to reach Mid Waiohine Hut, with the easiest and quickest being over Mt Holdsworth. It takes two hours to reach Powell Hut along…

Distance
12.4km to Mid Waiohine Hut
Time
5hr
Grade
Moderate

Mid King Bivouac, Tararua Forest Park

The well-trodden track from Holdsworth car park begins easily, with the final push up to Jumbo Hut, via the Raingauge Spur Track, cranking the calf muscles. From near the…

Distance
29.5km
Time
3 days
Grade
Moderate

Jans Hut, Rimutaka Forest Park

Jans Hut is the perfect place to go if you have young children and you want to introduce them to tramping. There are several DOC huts in the Orongorongo…

Distance
12.3km
Time
2.5hr
Grade
Easy

Dorset Ridge Hut, Tararua Forest Park

Getting to the hard-to-reach and seldom-visited Dorset Ridge Hut requires an early start and a long day’s tramp. The first half hour follows a gravel farm road and short…

Distance
15.8km
Time
2-3 days
Grade
Difficult

Broken Axe Pinnacles, Tararua Forest Park

A trip over the scenic stretch of Tararua ridgeline encompassing the Broken Axe Pinnacles is a delight. The ridge weaves through rolling tussock hills, with darker and larger peaks…

Distance
25.8km
Time
10-14hr
Grade
Moderate

Renata Ridge, Tararua Forest Park

Renata Ridge is a long bush-clad ridge reaching from the tussock tops of the Southern Crossing out to the Akatarawa Road, and enables a keen tramper to walk the…

Distance
40.5km
Time
3 days

Blue Range Hut, Tararua Forest Park

Blue Range Hut was built by the Masterton Tramping Club over two years in the 1950s. The track up to the hut ascends some 700m, but is fairly easy.…

Distance
3.59km
Time
2-3hr
Grade
Easy

Herepai Hut, Tararua Forest Park

This tramps leads into the headwaters of the Mangatainoka River along a densely forested track that has a deep-forest feel to it. The bush here is lush and the…

Distance
4.5km
Time
2hr
Grade
Easy

Mitre Flats Hut, Tararua Forest Park

The track to Mitre Flats Hut follows the Waingawa River and is named Barra Track after Bert Barra, a renowned deer culler. The track is well worn by weather…

Distance
7.08km
Time
4hr
Grade
Easy

Aorangi Crossing, Aorangi Forest Park

Busy only in birdlife, with cosy huts and impressive views, Aorangi Forest Park offers Wellington trampers an isolated alternative to the more popular Rimutaka and Tararua ranges. The trip…

Distance
25.8km
Time
2-3 days
Grade
Moderate

Waiopehu Hut Loop, Tararua Forest Park

The Waiopehu Track is the creation of the Levin and Waiopehu Tramping Club (LWTC) and provides trampers with access to the backcountry of the Tararuas. It took eight months…

Distance
20.8km
Time
4-5hr
Grade
Moderate

Kapakapanui Track, Tararua Forest Park

The track is a well-marked circuit with one hut – Kapakapanui Hut – en-route. Taking the southern branch of the track to the summit, a steady 700m climb through…

Distance
10.9km
Time
6hr
Grade
Moderate

Penn Creek Hut, Tararua Forest Park

A steady, some might say relentless, climb from Otaki Forks to gain 900m altitude will get trampers to the turn-off to Penn Creek Hut (six-bunks), having first passed such…

Distance
9.87km
Time
4-6hr
Grade
Easy

Sheridan Creek, Tararua Forest Park

A walk to an old log hauler up Sheridan Creek possible when the Waiotauru River isn,t in flood as there are no bridges in the vicinity. Cross the Waiotauru…

Distance
2km
Time
45min
Grade
Easy

Kime Hut, Tararua Forest Park

Kime Hut is something of an institution in the Tararua Ranges, with the original being built by the Tararua Tramping Club back in 1930. The current hut can be…

Distance
9.97km
Time
5-7hr
Grade
Moderate

Waitewaewae Hut, Tararua Forest Park

If you,re enthralled by the history of the Tararua Ranges then you won’t want to miss this track. The track winds it way along the river bank most of…

Distance
9.7km
Time
6hr
Grade
Moderate