Image of the November 2016 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
November 2016 Issue
Home / Articles / Waypoints

Rustic and remote

Dundas Hut viewed from the ridge leading down to Ruamahanga Gorge. Photo: Peter Laurenson
Total Ascent
Car park to Dundas Hut, 10hr, Dundas Hut to car park via Cattle Ridge, 10hr
Putara Road end, about 15km west of Eketahuna
GPX File
dundas-hut-2016 (gpx, yo 69 KB)
Your device does not support GPX files. Please try a different device.
Dundas Hut, 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 Road end over two long days could be just the ticket.

The loop covers rugged country, with a lot of climbing and descending, plenty of time on the tops and magnificent viewpoints. With four huts along the route, there is the option to slow down and take your time, too.

On a weekend dash, the obvious place to overnight is the midway point at Dundas Hut. Your first view of the hut, if coming from 1125m Herepai (doing the loop anti-clockwise) is just before the summit of Pukemoremore, which, at 1474m, is the highest point on the route. From here, Dundas Hut is a tiny red-roofed spec, dramatically accentuating the scale of the landscape.

Nestled in a cirque 250m beneath Pukemoremore, the hut offers a sense of remoteness. The sun, setting on the tops above, is lovely and the hut itself, with just six bunks, is spartan and rustic. Perhaps the only downside is the steep descent from the ridge at the end of a long day.

It’s a small price to pay for the dramatic vista that unfolds once back on the ridge. Both sides drop steeply away. At eye level, directly across the narrow and densely bush-clad Ruamahanga Gorge below is Cattle Ridge. This will be your high point on day two and, by the time you reach it, you’ll probably be glad to know that most of the climbing on this journey is done.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Web exclusives. Each week we publish stories you won’t find in the magazine. View our latest web exclusives.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.