Mangaturuturu Hut, Tongariro National Park
There’s something immensely appealing about a hut located high on a mountainside, with excellent views, beside the comforting shelter of the surrounding bush, and with the sounds of a nearby burbling river.
Mangaturuturu Hut occupies just such a site, on the western bushline of Mt Ruapehu. Lying about 90 minutes tramp from the road, it makes a good destination in its own right and will appeal to families with school-aged children.
From high on the Ohakune Mountain Road, beneath Turoa ski-field, a track winds its way over the lava-fields of Mt Ruapehu’s western slopes, down the spectacular, creamy flows of a mountain stream known as ‘The Cascades’, to this idyllic hut, located in a copse of beech trees near the Mangaturuturu River.
Members of the Wanganui Tramping Club built Mangaturuturu in 1958, not long after the club was founded. Alternatively, it can be reached in a good day’s tramp from Whakapapa. From the hut, a good side trip on the main track leads to Lake Surprise, although this does require fording the Mangaturuturu River.