Sunrise Hut Track is one of the most popular tracks in the park, particularly with family and school groups. It is a high quality benched walking track which makes its way through changing forest types to the open tops.
There are superb views of the Hawke’s Bay plains and excellent sunrises from the hut, which resides in a tussock basin beside the bush edge.
From behind Sunrise Hut there is a 30 minute route up to the sub-alpine herbfields at Armstrong Saddle where you can view Mt Ruapehu on a fine day.
Caution is required in this exposed area where strong northwesterly winds are common.
When returning, a more adventurous option is available via Waipawa Forks Hut and the Waipawa River - see North Block Road tramping tracks.
The North Block Road end is the most popular starting point for visitors to the Eastern Ruahine.
North Block Road is approximately 100 km from Napier. Follow State Highway 50 for 66 km and turn right into Wakarara Road. After 20 km, turn left into North Block Road. The start of Sunrise Tracks starts at the road end.
The last 4 km of this road is through private farmland. Dogs are not permitted. Please don’t disturb stock and leave gates as you found them.
Armstrong Saddle (1370 m) was named after pioneer pilot Hamish Armstrong, who was never found when his Gypsy Moth crashed in the area in the 1930s.
Auckland and parts of the Waikato are at Level 3. DOC huts and campsites are closed in these regions. The rest of New Zealand is at Level 2.