Home / Trips / Canterbury

Royal Hut, Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park

Royal Hut decked out in a thick coat of winter snow. Photo: Jordan Reed
Total Ascent
One-two days from either end (summer); three-five days (winter)
Royal Hut (free, eight bunks); Stone Hut (free, eight bunks); Crooked Spur Hut (free, eight bunks)
Bush Stream car park at the end of Rangitata Gorge Road, or Round Hill Ski Area, off Lilybank Road
GPX File
Royal Hut via Bush Stream (gpx, yo 68 KB)
Your device does not support GPX files. Please try a different device.

Reportedly once visited by Princess Diana and Prince Charles, Royal Hut is a challenging destination to reach in winter. Whether you approach from Round Hill Ski Area or Mesopotamia Station, expect big ascents, deep snow and many river crossings.

In winter, prepare yourself for delays and slow wading through deep snow – it’s best to bring snowshoes for the alpine areas to make progress more bearable.

The hut itself is basic; it has eight bunks, tin walls and a small fireplace which doesn’t do much for heating, but does help to dry wet gear from the river crossings.

The hut book records few winter visitors and those who do come tend to be backcountry skiers. In summer, a steady stream of Te Araroa Trail walkers regularly pass through.

From Royal Hut you can continue on towards the Round Hill Ski Area (Boundary Creek car park) which provides gorgeous views of nearby Lake Tekapo.

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.
  • 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.