Purity Hut Track
3 - 4 hr
Follow the poled route across farmland from the carpark. After an initial flat section of 30-40 minutes, the track climbs steeply for another 30-40 minutes to reach the Ruahine Forest Park boundary. From here the track climbs up through the red beech and kaikawaka forest at reasonably steep grade until reaching Purity Hut standing proud amongst the tussock.
To tramp to Mangaweka Trig from Purity Hut allow another 2 hr. Other options exist to hike over the Hikurangi Range and down to Waterfall Hut in the Upper Kawhatau River, along the Hikurangi Range to McKinnon Hut and via Wooden Peg on the Hikurangi Range down to Kelly Knight Hut in the Pourangaki River. These trips are all classified as routes due to travel on the often unmarked open tops and should not be attempted in poor visibility.
Heading just north from Mangaweka turn right off SH1, cross the Rangitikei River and follow Kawhatau Valley Road. This eventually leads to Upper Kawhatau Valley Road and not far past this turn right onto Mangakukeke Road. Follow this to the carpark at the end.
About the area
Purity Hut sits above bush line on the Hikurangi Range. Red beech forest mixes with broadleaf species and some remaining kaikawaka (mountain cedar) in this area. The tussock slopes above Purity lead to the Ruahine Forest Park’s highest point – Mangaweka (1733 m), often covered with winter snow.
In 2006 a new six bunk hut replaced the original three bunk hut situated near the edge of the forest. Sitting in the tussock, the new hut has spectacular views right to the central North Island mountains.
Plan and prepare
You must phone the landowner to get prior permission to access the Purity Hut track.
Contact Richard Gorringe on +64 6 3825856. Please consider going elsewhere during lambing (1 September to 31 October).
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.