IntroductionThis is a standard 20-bunk hut in the Kapiti region. Field hut was one of the first purpose built tramping huts in the country, and is the oldest surviving recreational hut in the Tararua Ranges.
Easy walk from road end
- Toilets - non-flush
- Water from tap - not treated, boil before use
Field Hut is an historic hut in the western Tararua Forest Park, located just below the bushline at an altitude of 900 m.
Field Hut is an actively managed historic hut. It was one of the first purpose built tramping huts in the country and is the oldest surviving recreational hut in the Tararua Ranges. People have been visiting the Tararua Forest Park for a long time and the huts they built and used are an important link to the Park’s history.
Field Hut was built in 1924 by New Zealand’s first tramping club, the Tararua Tramping Club, to accommodate the increasing popularity of the Southern Crossing between Ōtaki and Kaitoke. It was named after W. H. Field who was President of the Tararua Tramping Club and the Member of Parliament for Ōtaki at the time.
The hut foundations and framing were built with pit-sawn timber from trees felled nearby, and the rest of the materials were hauled in by packhorse.
Over the years much of the original materials have been replaced, but the hut remains an important recreational and historic attraction. Retaining its original character and form, people continue to enjoy staying in this excellent example of an early tramping hut.
The hut also has sentimental value to generations of trampers and hunters who had their first experience of the rigours of the Southern Crossing while shivering in the mist-shrouded Field Hut.
Follow in the footsteps of those before you and make your Tararua tramping experience complete by spending a night at Field Hut.
- Adult (18+ years): $10 per night
- Youth (5–17 years): $5 per night
- Child/Infant (0–4 years): free
Before you go, buy 1 Standard Hut Ticket (blue for adults, yellow for youth) for each night's stay. Put this in the honesty box at the hut. Or buy a Backcountry Hut Pass that gives unlimited use at most Standard and Serviced huts for a 6 or 12 month period.
Field Hut is best accessed via Ōtaki Forks.
Ōtaki Forks is 19 km inland from Ōtaki township – approximately 1 hr 30 min drive from Wellington or Palmerston North. The easiest turnoff from SH1 is at Ōtaki Gorge Road, just south of the SH1 bridge over the Ōtaki River. The last 5 km of the Gorge Rd is closed due to a slip. Access is by walking only.
There is an emergency track that you can walk to gain access to Ōtaki Forks. It is 5 km long and can be accessed 200 m past the locked gate on the Ōtaki Gorge Road.
Tracks to this hut
Field Hut and Table TopLocated in Ōtaki Forks area and Tararua Forest ParkThe day trip to Table Top is the classic climb to the tops of the western Tararua Range.1 alertDuration 5 – 6 hr returnDifficulty Intermediate
Tararua Southern CrossingLocated in Tararua Forest ParkThe Southern Crossing is one of the four classic tramps of the Tararua Range.2 alertsDuration 3 daysDifficulty Advanced
NZTopo50 map sheet: BP33
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1789982, N5468984