This is a basic three-bunk hut in the Hawke's Bay region.

Hut overview


  • Category


  • Bookings

Bookings not required - first come, first served


  • Heating
  • Mattresses
  • Toilets - non-flush
  • Water from tap - not treated, boil before use
4 bunk beds

About this hut

  • Water source - Rainwater tank
  • Heating - open fire  

Happy Daze was originally built by Stacker Johnston in January 1958 as a private recreational hut.  The area the hut inhabits was known as Maori Flat due to the former presence of a pa site there. The land was purchased by the crown in the 1960’s and the hut has not received regular maintenance until recently.

Maintenance Status

Happy Daze Hut is designated as 'Minimal Maintenance' by DOC. This means if it falls into disrepair it will be removed and not replaced.

Hut Condition

On inspection in July 2013 the hut is bearing up well. A Kent log burner replaced the open fire and the hut is able to be somewhat warmed. The exterior paint job is in good condition but could do with a scrub down or water-blast. The old clear-lite above the fireplace could use replacing to allow more light in. The studs and floor plate next to the open fire place have rotted.

Getting there

The easiest access departs from Paget Road on the true left of the Makaretu River and requires permission from two adjoining landowners. Follow the farm track through farm paddocks before dropping into the river before entering the forestry block. Walk up the river for several hundred meters and ascend a steep farm track on the true right. From here follow the farm track that sidles above the river past an old tractor and some private huts. Orange triangles lead through scrub for the final part of the journey.

The hut can also be accessed via the Makaretu River from Kashmir Roadend or Makaretu Road. For Makaretu Road, permission from adjoining landowners is required.

Access through public land is available by walking downstream from Makaretu or Awatere Huts. An access track leaves the river at the junction of the North and South Makaretu Rivers, climbing steeply before sidling though to Happy Daze Hut.


NZTopo50 map sheet: BL36
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1868201, N5567818




Te Papaioea / Palmerston North Office
Phone:   +64 6 350 9700
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   28 North Street
Palmerston North 4410
Postal Address:   Private Bag 11010
Manawatu Mail Centre
Palmerston North 4442
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