Cosy new Orongorongo huts offer respite from winter blues
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionFamilies, groups, and trampers can shake off the mid-winter blues with a stay in one of two new 10 bunk huts, available to book exclusively in Rimutaka Forest Park’s Orongorongo Valley, near Wellington.
Date: 11 June 2010
Families, groups, and trampers can shake off the mid-winter blues with a stay in one of two new 10-bunk huts, available to book exclusively in Rimutaka Forest Park’s Orongorongo Valley, near Wellington.
The new huts replace the old Haurangi and Shamrock huts which came to the end of their serviceable lives, Department of Conservation visitor assets programme manager Peter Blaxter said.
The new Haurangi hut has been rebuilt in its current location and the old Shamrock hut has been renamed Papatahi and rebuilt close by in a sunnier position with good views of the mountain range, including the Papatahi peak.
Donations totalling $26,000 from the Gilbert McCaul Bequest administered by Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand and $4000 from Hutt Valley Tramping Club - allowed for the provision of 10 bunks in the Papatahi Hut instead of the six originally planned. Gilbert McCaul, who joined the Hutt Valley Tramping Club in 1946 and later became a member of the Tararua Tramping Club, left a bequest to FMC when he died in 2004, "for the improvement of amenities and tracks in the valleys and lowland hills of New Zealand".
The view from Haurangi Hut
“We are very grateful to the clubs for their support. These are fantastic winter huts, with log burners and good insulation,” Mr Blaxter said.
From the Catchpool car park it takes around 2.5 hours of walking to get to Haurangi and around 3.5 to get to Papatahi, but once there walkers are rewarded by the new warmer, brighter, and more spacious huts. Built over the summer from new sustainable materials, they are well-insulated and equipped with heaters, mattresses, composting toilets and tap water. Haurangi Hut also has cooking facilities, crockery and utensils.
They are among six huts for hire at the end of the Orongorongo Track. Just a couple of hours walk from the Catchpool car park, they are an ideal introduction for families and groups to the valley.
“All the DOC huts in the valley are well-equipped, but these new huts offer a little more comfort for those wanting to walk a little further into the forest park,” Mr Blaxter said.
The Department of Conservation manages the park, maintaining the network of walking tracks and visitor facilities. It also runs and supports programmes to regenerate and conserve the area’s native wildlife and enhance recreation opportunities. Each year thousands of visitors walk into the Orongorongo Valley from the most popular entrance, Catchpool Valley, which has recently been enhanced by a new ford over the Catchpool stream.
The Orongorongo Track offers easy walking through some spectacular lowland forest to the Orongorongo Valley, from where people can stay in a booked hut close to the track end or venture further afield. Those staying overnight might even be lucky enough to hear the call of kiwi.
All the DOC huts in the Orongorongo Valley are available to be booked exclusively.
Find out how to book the Orongorongo Valley huts
|Kapiti Wellington Office|
|Phone:||+64 4 470 8412|
13b Wall Place
PO Box 5086
|Full office details|