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Top Gorge Hut, Ruahine Forest Park

Tackling the Pohanglina River on the way to Top Gorge Hut. Photo: Nina Mercer
Ruahine Forest Park
Top Gorge Hut (free, two bunks); Longview Hut ($15 , 12 bunks)
Turn into Makaretu Road from SH50. Take the first into Mill Road and travel for 11km before turning left into Kashmir Road. The track is accessed from the road end
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Top Gorge Hut is a hidden treasure in the Ruahine Ranges. Visited by maybe a dozen trampers or hunters a year, the hut is tucked up on a flat beside the Pohangina River.

The shortest route to this hut is via the eastern side of the ranges from Kashmir Road off SH50 in the Hawke’s Bay. Kashmir Road ascends quickly into the Ruahines making the climb to the tops just two or so hours.

Once on the ridgetop, turn left at the signposted intersection towards the 12-bunk Longview Hut. Continue past the hut and on to Rocky Knob, shortly after which is an unmarked route leading to the Pohangina River. Once on the route, it should be fairly easy to follow through chest-high leatherwood and over alpine meadows.

Once reaching the river there is about 40-minutes of boulder hopping, wading and clambering over windfalls to reach Top Gorge Hut on the true left of the river.

The small hut has two beds covering the length of the back wall, an open fire and a concrete floor and makes a welcome shelter for the night.