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Rangiwahia Hut loop, Ruahine Forest Park

Rangiwahia Hut is serviced and has 12 bunks. Photo: Juliet Jones
Ruahine Forest Park
Car park to Rangiwahia Hut via Deadmans Track, 5-6hr and Rangiwahia Hut to car park, 2-3hr
Rangiwahia Hut, (serviced, 13-bunks)
From the end of Renfrew Rd, east of Ohingaiti
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Rangiwahia Hut via Deadmans Track (gpx, yo 23 KB)
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Deadmans Track begins as an open easy trail through red beech and is typical of many tracks in the Ruahines in that it heads straight up for the first half hour. Steps in places make the going a bit easier, but it is still a slog.

After an hour or so the vegetation is dominated by head-high leatherwood, but the track is still wide with occasional views over the valley below and across to the ridge that Rangiwahia Hut sits upon.

Eventually the leatherwood gives way to tussock and an exposed ridge that offers no shelter from the wind. The track through the tussock is marked with poles and in places can be difficult to follow, but overall route finding should not be a problem.

Near the summit of Mangahuia, there is a spectacularly steep drop into the Oroua Valley. The views here into the interior of the park are excellent. A final short climb leads to the summit and the start of the descent to Rangiwahia Hut.

The main track has been heavily eroded along here and many side tracks, which make easier walking, have appeared. Rangiwahia Hut is a 12-bunk serviced hut, with two new toilets that have been painted by a local artist to blend in to the surroundings.

From the hut it is just a 2-3hr walk back to the car park along a recently upgraded track.