Crossing the Pourangaki River on the Purity - Kelly Knight Hut Loop Track

Image: Brian Dobbie | ©


A loop track that takes in the Pourangaki River valley and the open tops of the Hikurangi Range in the Ruahine Forest Park.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

2-3 days Advanced: Tramping track

Seasonal restrictions

Access across private land at either end of this trip is closed for lambing and calving.

Dog access

Dogs with a DOC permit for recreational hunting or management purposes only

About this track


Day 1: Mangakukeke Roadend to Purity Hut

Time: 3 - 4 hr

Climb the marked Purity Hut Track through farmland and forest to Purity Hut, nestled above the bushline on the Hikurangi Range.

Day 2: Purity Hut to Kelly Knight Hut

Time: 4 - 5 hr

The track follows on up a tussock ridge from Purity Hut to Wooden Peg (1672 m). From here a roughly poled route heads south, then descends through forest to Kelly Knight Hut in the Pourangaki River valley. Due to travel on the open tops this section should not be attempted in poor visibility or bad weather.

Day 3: Kelly Knight Hut to Mangakukeke Roadend

Time: 3 hr 30 min - 4 hr 30 min

Walk the sidle Kelly Knight Track out from Kelly Knight Hut to the entrance point on Kohunui Station and then follow the farm road back out to the Purity carpark.

Getting there

Heading just north from Mangaweka turn right off SH1, cross the Rangitikei River and follow Kawhatau Valley Road. This eventually leads to Upper Kawhatau Valley Road and not far past this turn right onto Mangakukeke Road. Follow this to the carpark at the end.


Prior permission from the landowner is required to cross private land at both ends of this trip.

You will need to contact the landowner to get prior permission to access the Purity Hut track for day 1 of this walk. Contact Richard Gorringe on +64 6 3825856. Please consider going elsewhere during lambing (1 September to 31 October).

You must also phone the farm manager to get prior permission to cross Kohunui Station for day 3 of this walk. Access can be arranged by phoning +64 6 382 5577 at breakfast or in the evening. You must speak to the farm manager - messages will not be responded too. The continued use of access across Kohunui station is dependent on every party gaining permission from the farm manager every time. This access is closed to the public during calving, and may be closed at other times during the year for farm management purposes.

Know before you go

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.


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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