Tussock Hut is located at the upper (northern) end of Tussock Valley, on a tributary of Ngaawapurua (Harkness) Stream.
Built in 1964, the hut’s original standard hut design was upgraded in 2012. Located at 1060 metre, this hut is well placed for hunting in a 360° radius as well as providing access to the north-west areas of the Kaweka Forest Park.
The mountain beech forest rises away from the tussock covered valley floor to numerous spurs, ridges and gullies and provides good views south to Bare Top (1386 metres). The hut can experience a wide range of climatic conditions which can include brief snowfalls during cold southerly weather and is in a sheltered position from westerly winds.
There is a helipad 25 metres behind the hut. Flight availability and costs can be obtained from helicopter concessionaires in the central North Island.
Tussock Hut can be reached by:
From Boyd's Lodge in the Kaimanawa Forest Park allow 3 hours travel time, but take care that fording the Ngaruroro River is safe following heavy rainfall.
The track starts at the carpark and climbs over the main Kaweka Range (1700 metres) via a poled track passing a side track to Ballard Hut. The track continues to Tira Lodge and Te Puke Hut down past Harkness Hut before heading north up Tussock Valley to Tussock Hut.
Some caution may be required during adverse weather conditions on the exposed open tops.
This track starts at the roadend for Makino Hut and climbs steadily up to Makino Hut. The track then heads down into the Makino River valley, rising up to the Mangaturutu Tops and Mangaturutu Hut. From here the track passes Te Puke Hut down past Harkness Hut before heading north up Tussock Valley to Tussock Hut.
Tussock Hut is well situated for brief or overnight stops when heading to further points throughout the park and also as a ‘through’ trip from the Kaimanawa Forest Park to the eastern boundaries of the Kaweka Forest Park. For example a tramp from Makahu Saddle car park would require 2 to 3 days or approximately 17 hours travel time with a full pack.
From Tussock Hut, formed tracks lead south to Harkness Hut (up to 3 hours) and west to Boyd's Lodge (reached after 2.5 hours by fording the Ngaruroro River). By continuing south and following the Ngaawapurua (Harkness) Stream, Ngaawapurua Hut can be reached at the junction of the Ngaruroro River and Harkness stream (5 hours).
NZTopo50 map sheet: BH37
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1877800, N5659920
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.