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Te Puia Lodge via Middle Hill Hut, Kaweka Forest Park

Middle Hill Hut is reached after 2.5hr. It's a further 6hr to Te Puia Lodge. Photo: Bruce Roberts
Kaweka Forest Park
8.5-11hr return
Middle Hill Hut, 6 bunks; Makino Hut, 6 bunks; Te Puia Lodge, 26 bunks
Makahu Road is located 75km north-west of Napier. Park at the end of the road or the start of Middle Ridge Track
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Te Puia Lodge via Middle Hill Hut (gpx, yo 28 KB)
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The walk up Middle Ridge Track to Middle Hill Hut is a bit of a grunt at times but there’s enough flat sections to break up the climb.

From the hut climb up Camp Spur, a continuation of the ridge you hiked previously. Just before leaving the bush there are a couple of flat sites perfect for tenting.

Soon, you’re out on the tops. Follow the poled route to the main Kaweka Range, where there’s a view over Hawke’s Bay, out to Cape Kidnappers and the curve of the bay. A quick scramble along the range towards Makino Hut follows. Then, once down in the bush, it’s about 90min of bush walking to Makino Hut.

Take the turn-off towards Te Puia Lodge, descending steeply to the Mohaka River where you can head up river for a soak in the Mangatainoka Hot Springs before walking to the lodge.

There are a few intermittent climbs on the walk down the Mohaka to the car park, but these are easily dealt with and provide great views of the river.