Gold Creek Hut
Image: Peter Daly | Creative Commons
Gold Creek Hut was one of the first Forestry Service huts to be built in the Ruahines in 1958.
The hut is a modified NZFS four bunk S-81 model, fitted with spring bunks and standard DOC mattresses. Heating is provided by a corker cooker which provides ample heat for the small lined hut. The creek provides a good source of fresh water. A long drop toilet and overgrown helipad occupy the clearing as well.
Gold Creek has limited hunting potential and is out of the way of the more popular Ruahine tramping tracks. Whio can occasionally be heard in the creek outside the hut.
Gold Creek Hut is maintained by the community. John Beech is currently managing the hut under a volunteer agreement. If you would like to help John with maintenance tasks, contact the Ruahine User Group online forum or email email DOC Manawatu.
Gold Creek can be accessed from the Wakarara Roadend. This is approximately 75km from Napier. Turn onto Wakarara Road from SH50 and follow for approximately 26.5km to the end of Wakarara Road. Continue along the road past the Parks Peak Station sign to the carpark, indicated by DOC signs. Park to the left of the road at the indicated area, before the gate. Please park well off the road and be mindful of farming operations that are being carried out.
From the carpark, follow a poled route (marked with orange track markers) for approximately 500m along the farmers fence line and through a paddock down to the river. Head upstream to the Ruahine Forest Park boundary by following the wide river valley to the Gold Creek junction. Climb up the true right bank of Gold Creek where a memorial plaque and a DOC sign marks the start of the route. At this point, go through the farm gate and climb the steep slope following the fence-line until the ground levels off and passes through a small pedestrian gate.
A well-marked track follows the gently graded ridge through beech forest. The track turns sharply off the ridge once past spot height 984m. The descent into Gold Creek begins gently and steepens closer to the creek. The creek is usually a gentle ford, however after heavy rain or additional snowmelt the creek can become swift and hazardous. The river route down Gold Creek to the Makaroro River is not recommended, as it has deep pools and gorges. Return via the track to the Makaroro River.
Gold Creek Hut is located on a small gravel bench on the true left of Gold Creek at an altitude of 710 metres.
NZTopo50 map sheet: BK36
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1873798, N5593735
There is no vehicle access to the Ruahine Forest Park from the Wakarara Road end. You will need to cross the Makaroro River; expect wet feet.
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