The narrow Makahu Road provides access to the Makino and Middle Hill huts.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

Dogs with a DOC permit only. Contact the relevant DOC office to obtain a permit.

About this track


Makahu Road to Makino Hut

Time: 2 - 3 hr

A short distance after Makahu Road enters the park it climbs to a saddle. It is from this point the track to Makino Hut leaves the road.

The track leads up a manuka ridge for 20 minutes (plus climb) – from where there are good views of the Mohaka valley and surrounding plateau farmland. Look and listen for fernbirds in the ground level scrubland and listen for kiwi at night. The track continues along a manuka covered flat, then climbs again to a further flat section. Manuka vegetation gives way to red beech as altitude is gained. The track continues past the Middle Hill turnoff to the left, then to the right to the steeply descending track to Te Puia Lodge. About 15 - 20 minutes from this junction, in a small clearing, is Makino Hut.

For experienced tramping parties there is access from Makino Hut to Ballard Hut (via the main Kaweka Range) or to Mangaturutu Hut (via the upper reaches of the Makino River). 

Makahu Road to Middle Hill Hut

Time: 2 - 3 hr

The track to Middle Hill Hut begins at the north-west corner of the carpark. Follow up the Mangatutunui Stream for 15 minutes.

The track crosses a stream, then climbs and sidles through manuka forest to a plateau. Middle Hill Hut is located on a clearing.

An alternative route to Middle Hill for experienced trampers is via the Makino track. However because of the constant “up and down” nature of this track, as it winds in and out of major creeks, this is not a popular option.

From Middle Hill, tracks lead further afield to for example Kaweka Flats, Makahu Saddle, or over the Kaweka Range to Ballard Hut.

Makahu Road to Makino Hut to Te Puia Lodge to Makahu Rd

Time: 6 - 7 hr 

An interesting day or overnight trip is the circuit from Makahu Road to Makino Hut, descending to Te Puia Lodge, (perhaps diverting to Mangatainoka Hot Springs), following the Mohaka River to the Mangatutu Thermal Springs, then returning to the starting point along Makahu Road. 

Makahu Road to Middle Hill Hut to Kaweka Flats to Makahu Saddle

Time: 6 - 7 hr 

This day or overnight trip, along the eastern side of the Kaweka Range, passes through a variety of manuka, beech and sub alpine forest, and rewards trampers with good views of the mountain tops. There is a bivouac on Kaweka Flats. Organisation of transport is necessary from Makahu Saddle to Makahu Road.

Te Puia Lodge to Makino River

The track follows the true left of the Makino River from its meeting with the Mohaka for about 30 minutes. Good access for fishing and hunting. The track ends by a gorge and upriver from here there is no marked track.

Alternatively, a track which drops steeply down from the Makino to Ballard Track provides access to the river’s upper reaches. A three-wire bridge which crosses the Makino River, links with a track to Mangaturutu Hut.

Getting there

Makahu Road is located 75 km north-west of Napier. From Napier follow Puketitiri Road for 36 km before turning right into Pakaututu Road. Makahu Road is located 9km 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.

Park visitors should be warned that the road is narrow and may be slippery when wet. One remaining ford may be impassable in wet weather. Check with the Hasting's District Council for road updates.

Know before you go


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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