This page answers some frequently asked questions about booking Rangiwahia or Sunrise huts in the Ruahine Forest Park.

What can I expect as a 'booked' hut user?

You can expect the assurance and priority use of a bed. 

If the hut is full, you may experience 'non-booked' users turning up and 'cramming' into spaces available, including the floor. These huts are open to all users if shelter is required.

What can I expect as a 'non-booked' hut user?

Preferably all users should book the huts in advance to avoid the situation of 'cramming' alongside booked users. There may be situations where the hut is required for un-booked use, even when the hut is full. This would usually be because of unplanned trip changes due to weather.

Un-booked users need to respect the priority that 'booked' users have to beds and should move into un-booked spaces, like the floor or deck, when required. 

No penalty fees will be charged for those without a booking or hut pass/ tickets 

What happens if people are already occupying beds and then a larger group arrives who have booked the hut?

If a group arrives that has not booked, they will not be turned away but will not be guaranteed a bed. If the un-booked group arrives first and sets up their gear, they will have to move for a booked party. This situation can be avoided if all parties book. Floor space inside or on the deck can be used to sleep on if necessary.

Does the booking system devalue the annual hut pass?

Backcountry hut passes are still recognised as valid payment for Rangiwahia and Sunrise Huts. If passes are to be used as payment, bookings need to be made at any DOC visitor centre. There will be no additional booking fee with this process. 

Hut tickets cannot be used as payment for a booking.

Will the huts be locked like other bookable DOC facilities?

Huts will not be locked. Safety is paramount and shelter is guaranteed.

Who will enforce the bookings?

Hut wardens will be present periodically to manage issues that may result from people not having booked.

Can we still stay at the huts if we have not booked?

Yes, unallocated beds at the huts will still be available to trampers that haven't booked. We recommend booking to guarantee a bed space.

Is the booking for the whole hut or the bed?

The booking is per bed.

How will the public know the hut is booked and not worth going up there?

Public can book to guarantee themselves a bed. You can view bed availability on the DOC online booking system.

How can I make a booking?

  • You can book yourself on the DOC online booking system using a credit card.
  • If you want to pay by cash you will need to go to any DOC visitor centre.
  • You can use your annual hut pass or credit card by giving details over the phone. Hut passes will need a verification check first.
  • Groups that have been credit checked and verified can be invoiced if they are in the system.

What if I want to make a booking outside of office hours?

You can use the DOC online booking system.

Can you make a booking without paying?

No bookings will be accepted without payment. An 'on hold' option, for a maximum of 24 hours, is available in some cases eg, to enable cash payment arrangements or for group date confirmations.

How can I confirm my booking?

Upon booking you will receive a confirmation letter with your booking details. You must bring this to the hut as proof of booking.

Will I be issued hut tickets?

No, only a confirmation letter will be issued stating your payment for the hut.

What happens if my trip is cancelled, does my booking get refunded?

Standard booking conditions apply, see booking terms and conditions.

What happens if I show up at the huts with no hut tickets or booking confirmation?

We recommend booking before your trip but you can pay for your stay at a DOC office on your return from the trip.

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