Bookings not required - first come, first served
Built in 1961, this hut is one of the few New Zealand Forest Service huts that still retains an open fireplace. The hut is located close to open sub-alpine tops adjoining the mountain beech forest at 1400 metres. It experiences a wide range of climatic conditions which can include brief snowfalls during cold southerly weather and strong north westerly winds.
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 helipad is approximately 40 metres from the hut on a rocky outcrop sited above a tributary of the Mangaturutu Stream. Flight availability and costs can be obtained from helicopter concessionaires in the central North Island.
There are 3 ways to reach Mangaturutu Hut. Times are approximate. Road access is available at Makahu Saddle, Middle Hill or the Makino road end car parks.
The track begins a short distance after Makahu Road enters the park where it climbs to a saddle. It is from this point that the track leaves the road. The track leads to Makino Hut (3 hours) and continues on to Mangaturutu Hut (a further 4 hours). The track from Makino hut is via the Makino river and involves a 3 hour climb.
Travel to the Middle Hill carpark and then proceed up the Mangatutunui Stream before ascending a ridge to Middle Hill Hut (2.5 hours). From Middle Hill Hut the track continues over the northern (Whetu) end of the main Kaweka Range. This route is via a poled track which traverses the open Kaweka tops (1600 metres) for at least 1.5 hours tramping. The track passes a side track to Ballard Hut on the way and continues to Tira Lodge Hut (6 hours). To reach Mangaturutu Hut you must cross a saddle track that drops and then rises and falls before finally climbing out onto the open tops. The hut is 15 minutes walk from the sign-posted track junction with the Te Pukeohikarua track.
Some caution may be required during adverse weather conditions.
This track passes by Makahu Saddle Hut which is 5 minutes walk from the car park. The track then continues onto Mangaturutu Hut over the main Kaweka range, passing by Venison Tops Hut (Tira Lodge). To reach Mangaturutu Hut you must cross a saddle track that drops, then rises and falls before finally climbing out onto the open tops. The hut is 15 minutes walk from the sign-posted track junction with the Te Pukeohikarua track.
From Mangaturutu Hut, a formed track leads to Te Pukeohikarua Hut (2.5 – 3 hours). This route is via a marked/poled track sometimes traversing open Kaweka sub-alpine tops at 1500 metres. Some caution may be required during adverse weather conditions.
Mangaturutu Hut is well situated for brief or overnight stops when heading to further points throughout the park. It is also suitable to use as a round or through trip from either Makahu Saddle carpark or the Makahu roadend.
Please see the walking access section for further information.
NZTopo50 map sheet: BJ37
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1887477, N5653610