Rocks Ahead Bivouac is located on the true right bank of the Ngaruroro River at the mid-western boundary of the area known as the 'Manson Country'.

Hut overview


  • Category


  • Bookings

Bookings not required - first come, first served


  • Mattresses
  • Toilets - non-flush
  • Water from stream
2 bunk beds

About this hut

  • Stream water supply
  • Meat safe
  • Long drop style toilet

Rocks Ahead Bivouac is located on the true right bank of the Ngaruroro River at the mid-western boundary of the area known as the “Manson Country”. This bivouac is across the river from the Rocks Ahead Hut and can be accessed via the cableway. The bivouac is sited near the junction of three major tracks from the west (Manson), the north (Venison Tops) and the east (Back Ridge) areas.

Getting there


The helipad is 10 metres from the bivouac. There is a second helipad 20 metres from Rocks Ahead Hut across the river. Flight availability and costs can be obtained from helicopter concessionaires in the central North Island.


Manson Hut (3.5 hr)

From Manson Hut, a marked, then poled, track heads north climbing up to Mt Manson (1448 metres altitude). The track then circles east around Spion Kop main ridge to descend steeply down to Rocks Ahead Bivouac. Caution should be applied to travel in this area, especially the open Manson Tops, when poor visibility is often accompanied by high winds and cold temperatures.

Kiwi Mouth Hut (7 hr or 5.5 hr)

From Kiwi Mouth Hut there are two approaches

  1. 7 hours: A marked track crosses the Ngaruroro River before climbing to Manson Hut (2.5 – 3.5 hours) from where you follow the route from Manson Hut described above.
  2. 5.5 hr: Climb northeast up onto Back Ridge to reach the Back Ridge Bivouac/Rocks Ahead track junction (4 hours). Turn left here and head downhill to reach Rocks Ahead Hut (1 hour). To reach the bivouac you need to cross the river via the cableway and walk for a further 5 minutes.
Tira Lodge (1.5 –  2.5 hr)

From Tira Lodge (Venison Tops Hut), a marked track crosses open sub-alpine country for 20 minutes before descending a long ridge through beech forest to reach Rocks Ahead Hut.


Rocks Ahead Hut and Bivouac both provide trampers with an excellent base or stopover point to explore the western areas of the Kaweka Forest Park.

From Makahu Saddle carpark, trampers can travel to Back Ridge Hut (3 – 4 hours) over the main Kaweka range and then onto Rocks Ahead Hut and Bivouac (3 hours) via Back Ridge Bivouac. Alternative and more adventurous approaches can be made from the north, via Middle Hill Hut then through Ballard/Venison Tops or Makino/Mangaturutu/Venison Tops. From the south, access is available from the Cameron carpark via Cameron and Kiwi Mouth Huts.


NZTopo50 map sheet: BJ37
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1884260, N5647449




Ahuriri / Napier Office
Phone:   +64 6 834 3111
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   59 Marine Parade
Napier 4110
Postal Address:   PO Box 644
Napier 4140
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