Manson Bivouac is located in western Kaweka Forest Park in the area known as the “Manson Country”. This area is separated from the rest of the Kaweka Forest Park by the Ngaruroro River. The Manson area was originally grazed by sheep in the 1860s and the surrounding countryside was subjected to large fires that devastated the native vegetation.
This bivouac was built in 1966 by the New Zealand Forest Service. It is an out-of-the-way base for many hunting opportunities and for exploring the more remote western areas of the Kaweka Forest Park. At 1250 metres altitude, this bivouac is positioned just inside the bush edge. Relatively sheltered from the strong westerly winds common to this area, the area can experience a wide range of climatic conditions.
A helipad is situated 50 metres from the bivouac. Flight availability and costs can be obtained from helicopter concessionaires in the central North Island.
From Manson Hut, a marked track heads north and turns right prior to reaching to Mt Manson (1448 metres altitude).
From Rocks Ahead Hut the track steeply ascends up onto Spion Kop Tops where a poled route leads west. This leads to a track junction with the route from Manson Hut to Otutu Hut. Continue towards Manson Hut until reaching another junction at Mt Manson. Choose to continue to walk towards Manson Hut until you reach a third junction. The left fork will lead up a spur to the Manson Bivouac, while the right fork leads to Manson Hut.
Caution should be applied to travel in this area, especially the open tops, when poor visibility is often accompanied by high winds and cold temperatures.
Tramping routes are either to Rocks Ahead Hut in the east, Otutu Hut to the west or to Manson Hut and onto to Kiwi Mouth Hut in the south.
NZTopo50 map sheet: BJ37
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1883529, N5645039