Alpha Hut is located at a height of 1116 m, just below the bushline in the eastern Tararua Forest Park. It is one of the traditional overnight shelters for the classic Southern Crossing.
The original hut was built around Easter 1915, with materials taken in by pack horse. It was extended in 1938. In 1951, work to rebuild Alpha Hut begun. All materials were dropped on site using a Miles M.57 Aerovan (a British twin-engine high wing monoplane). The original Alpha Hut was demolished in 1952, with the new hut officially opened in 1953. It remained in use until September 1982, when it burnt down. The current Alpha Hut was built by the New Zealand Forest Service in 1983, and extended in March 1996.
Alpha Hut is best accessed from the carpark on Kiwi Ranch Road, off Marchant Road in Upper Hutt. From State Highway 2, turn on to Marchant Road just east of where the highway crosses the Pakuratahi River. Follow this for approximately 2.5 km then turn on to Kiwi Ranch Road at the entrance to Camp Kaitoke.
From the carpark, the track climbs through stunted silver beech along Marchant Ridge, over Omega and through the saddle of Hell’s Gate to Alpha Hut.
Approximate times from nearest road and huts
NZTopo50 map sheet: BP33
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1791971, N5460318
- Adult (18+ years): $5 per night
- Youth (11 - 17 years): $2.50 per night
- Child/Infant (0 - 10 years): free
Before you go, buy 1 Standard Hut Ticket (blue for adults, yellow for youth) for each night's stay. Put this in the honesty box at the hut. Or buy a Backcountry Hut Pass that gives unlimited use at most Standard and Serviced huts for a 6 or 12 month period.
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