Papatahi Hut

Image: Pete Blaxter | DOC


This is a serviced 10-bunk hut in the Wellington region. The hut is locked and must be booked in advance to gain access.


This is a popular hut so book well in advance.

Hut overview


  • Category


  • Bookings

Bookings required


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

About this hut

This hut is sole occupancy and locked – refer to your booking confirmation for how to obtain the access code.

Facilities provided are:

  • cooker, pots, pans, crockery and cooking utensils
  • wood heating
  • cold tap water
  • composting toilet

You need to bring:

  • candles for lighting
  • toilet paper

Getting there

Papatahi Hut is a 3 hour 30 minute walk via Orongorongo Track, then following the Orongorongo River. Several river crossings are required.

Turere Bridge (end of Orongorongo Track) to Papatahi Hut via Orongorongo River

Time: 70–90 min

Do not use this river route when the river is in flood or when there has been sustained rainfall in the area. Use the Big Bend Track instead.

Papatahi Hut is on a sharp bend on the Orongorongo River 6 km up stream from the Turere Bridge.

Follow the Orongorongo River upstream, crossing the river as required. Note the following landmarks as you go:

  1. Big Bend.
  2. Goat Stream and its large shingle fan on the true left.
  3. Orange triangle marking the entrance to Haurangi Hut. (Grid ref: Topo50 BQ32, 672 228). At this point you are about half way to Papatahi Hut.
  4. Whakanui Track entrance on the true right.
  5. Matthews Stream and Mount Matthews Track on the true left.
  6. Large slip face on the true left.(Grid ref: Topo50 BQ32, 686 229).

Just past the slip face is another shingle fan on the same side, and the river valley abruptly narrows. Continuing upstream 200 m, the river veers around an elbow with a manuka covered flat on the true right.

Look for a large orange triangle and marker poles near the entrance to an old 4WD track. Follow this for 100 m to the Papatahi Hut track, and climb the steps to the hut.

Turere Bridge (end of Orongorongo Track) to Papatahi Hut via Big Bend Track

Time: 1 hr

Papatahi Hut may also be reached via the Big Bend Track. This reduces the number of river crossings and is recommended following heavy rain.

From the Turere Bridge, follow the Big Bend Track approximately 60–80 minutes to its junction with the Whakanui Track. Turn right down to the Orongorongo River and follow the directions in the Orongorongo River route description above.


NZTopo50 map sheet: BQ32
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates:  E1769108, N5423351


 $100 sole occupancy


Bookings are open for stays from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Bookings are required all year.

Book Papatahi Hut online.

A $10 service fee applies to all phone, email and in-person bookings.

 If this hut isn't available at the time of booking, consider Coast Road Cabin at the entrance to the Catchpool Valley.

Know before you go

Check the flow of the Ōrongorongo River before you go. Do not cross the river when it's in flood or there has been sustained rainfall in the area.


Kapiti Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 4 384 7770
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   18 - 32 Manners Street
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
The Terrace
Wellington 6143
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