Historic Whariwharangi Hut
Abel Tasman National Park, DOC Takaka office
Whariwharangi Hut (built 1896)
A conventional timber framed one and a half storey building, rectangular in plan. The gable roof is clad in corrugated iron, and the exterior walls are weather-board. It has a full-length veranda on the front, a full-length lean-to along the rear, and two brick chimneys; windows are double hung. The ground floor has a central passage with a bunkroom and storage room on one side and a large main room on the other. Upstairs there are two smaller bunkrooms. There are 20 bunks in total. The interior of the hut has many original features including a built-in staircase and timber wall panelling.
Sited in a grassy clearing in regenerating bush the house is the most northern Great Walk Hut on the Abel Tasman Track.
Whariwharangi Hut was built as a farmhouse in about 1896 by John Handcock who lived in the valley with his family for 15 years. Whariwharangi was last inhabited in 1926, but farmed until 1972. During this later period the homestead served as a stockmans hut. The farms in this northern end of the Park, although the last to be retired, eventually succumbed to the impoverished granite soils. In 1980 Whariwharangi hut was restored by the Abel Tasman Park Board making significant modifications to suit its new use as a tramping hut. Historic themes are pastoralism and farming.
A pleasing example of a small one and a half storey farmhouse.
Many farms in this area had to be abandoned, and this is a notable reminder of that era and changing land use.
The hut will be maintained to protect its historic fabric and minimise deterioration. A conservation plan has been prepared (Bowman, Ian, 1991) to guide its management. This contains more information about the hut.