View from above Maungahuka Hut
Image: Joe Hansen | DOC
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.
Maungahuka Hut is best accessed from Otaki Forks on the western side of the Tararua Ranges, or Holdsworth Road-end on the eastern side.
Otaki Forks is 19 km inland from Otaki township – approx. 1 hr 30 min drive from Wellington or Palmerston North. The easiest turnoff from SH1 is at Otaki Gorge Road, just south of the SH1 bridge over the Otaki River. The last 5 km of the Otaki 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
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.
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.