Bookings not required - first come, first served
Located in the north-eastern Kaweka Forest Park, Makino Hut is situated in a flat, sheltered site where the open manuka/kanuka meet the red beech forest.
Built in 1959, this hut was upgraded in 1993. The hut is ideally positioned for both day and weekend trips. It is sited in an open sunny clearing at 980 metres and experiences a wide range of climatic conditions which can include brief snowfalls during cold southerly weather and strong westerly winds. The hut is heated by a wood burning stove.
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.
The hut can be accessed from 3 points on Makahu Road.
A short distance after Makahu Road enters the park it climbs to a saddle. From this point a marked track steadily climbs west for approximately 2.5 hours (5.5 kilometres).
From the end of Makahu Road a track leads up the true right of the Mohaka River to Te Puia Lodge. From the lodge a marked track climbs up a steep ridge to reach a high point at altitude 996 metres before heading west for 650 metres to reach Makino Hut (1.25 hour).
Travel to the Middle Hill carpark and then proceed up the Mangatutunui Stream before ascending a ridge to Middle Hill Hut (2.5 hours). Five minutes prior to reaching Middle Hill Hut a marked track heads in a northerly direction crossing over three steep sided tributary gullies of the Mangatutunui Stream. This is an energetic 7 kilometre tramp and could take up to 4 hours from Middle Hill Hut to Makino Hut depending on the trampers' fitness and pack size.
Makino Hut is ideally located for a day or weekend tramp. Trampers can make a semi-circular trip from Makahu Saddle via the main Kaweka range to access the Makino Hut area and walk out via Te Puia Lodge and the Mohaka River. A longer circular trip can take in Makino Hut and Whetu and return via the Middle Hill Hut out to Makahu Road. Any trip up to the main range offers extensive views of the Kaweka Forest Park and Hawke's Bay.
Mangaturutu Hut is approximately 9 kilometres (5 – 6 hours) to the west on the way to either Tira Lodge (Venison Tops) or the Te Pukeohikarua Tops. The trip from Makino Hut takes approximately 45 minutes to the Ballard track junction. It then leads steeply downhill to the Makino river (600 metres altitude) for 1 hour, before climbing steadily for 3 hours to reach the Mangaturutu Hut (1400 metres altitude).
Makahu Road is 75 km north-west of Napier. From Napier follow Puketitiri Road for 40 km before turning right into Pakaututu Road. Makahu Road is 9 km on the left.
At the very end of the road, 500 metres from the Mangatutu Hot Springs and camping area, is "The Gums" parking area and shelter. The tracks to Te Puia Lodge and Mangatainoka Hot Springs begin here.
The trip involves about 1 hr of travel on unsealed gravel roads. There is a river ford on Makahu Road 7.5 km from the road end – heavy rain and snow melt can affect the water level.
Makahu Road is steep and narrow in places. It may be slippery when wet. Take extra caution driving this road.
The road is not suitable for caravans or campervans.
Check with Hasting's District Council for road closures.
NZTopo50 map sheet: BJ37
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1894314, N5656647