Maungahuka Hut is located below Maungahuka peak (1330 m) and is part of the Main Range hut network. It is a popular overnight destination for the Tararua Peaks circuit.
The current 10-bunk hut was built in 2006 to replace the original hut which was built in 1962 by the Forest Service to a 6-bunk S70 design hut.
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.
Maungahuka Hut is best accessed from Otaki Forks on the western side of the Tararua Ranges, or Holdsworth Road-end on the eastern side.
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 Ōtaki Gorge Road is unsealed, narrow and windy – drive carefully.
From Otaki Forks, tramp to Kime Hut (5-6 hours) then cross the peaks to Maungahuka Hut (another 4 hours).
2 km south of Masterton, turn off SH2 into Norfolk Road, which turns into Mt Holdsworth Road. Follow signs to Tararua Forest Park, about 15 km from SH2.
NZTopo50 map sheet: BP33
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1796565, N5468366
There is no heating at Maungahuka Hut so it can get quite cold. Go prepared with extra layers/warm clothing.
Visibility is often very poor on the Main Range. Only experienced and properly equipped trampers should attempt to cross the Tararua Peaks, especially during winter conditions.
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.