Bookable beds beckon for Ruahine huts
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionDOC is implementing a seasonal booking system for beds at the popular Rangiwahia and Sunrise huts.
Date: 22 November 2017
Both huts are in the tussock-tops of the Ruahine Forest Park. The track to each hut is well-graded and easy to follow with an average walking time of 2-3 hours. This makes them ideal for young families, groups and newer trampers.
DOC Manawatu District Operations Manager Duncan Toogood believes the booking system will help manage overcrowding and encourage new people to get into the outdoors.
“We trialled bookable beds at both huts last summer,” says Duncan. “The trial indicates that use of a booking system is likely to improve visitor experience if it is well-publicised and properly managed.”
Overnight visitors will be able to book a bed during the busy season, from Labour Weekend to the end of April each year.
“Warmer, more settled weather encourages families and less experienced trampers to dust off their boots and head for the hills,” says Duncan.
Research suggests that family groups and new trampers prefer to use bookable accommodation.
Duncan, a father of two, concurs: “I love exploring the outdoors with my family, but as a parent, I need to know my kids will have a place to sleep after their big adventure”.
Though hut tickets will still be accepted, making a booking will be the only way to guarantee a bed.
Hut wardens will be present periodically throughout the season, especially over peak times like public holiday weekends.
Bookings can be made at https://booking.doc.govt.nz/. Annual hut pass holders can use their hut pass number to create a booking by contacting any DOC booking office.
The huts won’t be locked, and shelter in a storm is guaranteed. “Safety is our number one priority,” says Duncan. “If you’re out on the track and the weather starts to turn, it’s important to know that you can always seek shelter at these huts.”
Rangiwahia Hut is a 13-bunk hut on the western side of the Ruahine Forest Park, accessed from Renfrew roadend. The track is a 2-3 hour walk up through beech forest. The hut is in the tussock just above the bush line, offering fabulous views across the Manawatu/Rangitikei districts and across to the central plateau on a clear day.
Sunrise Hut is a 20-bunk hut on the eastern side of the Ruahine Forest Park, accessed from North Block roadend. The track is a 2-3 hour walk over a well-benched track climbing changing forest types to reach the open tops. The hut is location in a tussock basin just above the bush line, offering superb views across the Hawke’s Bay plains. It is a great spot to watch the sunrise (hence the name).
Kelly Hancock, DOC Community Ranger