#55 – 1st October 2015
Located in the Tararua Forest Park, this brilliant hut is nestled up on a terrace alongside the Mangahao River. You can either access it from the Mangahao Upper No.1 Reservoir behind Shannon, or by dropping down into the valley from Te Matawai Hut.
The hut has an awesome woodburner and 16 bunks on two platforms. Its a big hut but it seems to heat well. There are also kennels outside for hunting dogs, and a fantastic decking!
We didn’t actually intend to visit this hut initially, but as a plan to get us onto the hut network quicker along the Te Araroa trail we decided to take a detour. It was not quicker lol!
We left from the reservoir and its slow going up the valley, about 1-2 km an hour. We stayed 2 nights at this hut with the second being a day and night of rain – but behold – we had 15 schoolkids arrive happy to see the fire going about 7pm. They were part of a group from the nearby Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre along with one of their leaders, John an infamous trail angel for the Te Araroa, and had been walking for 11 hours in the rain!!
He welcomed us to come past and stay if we needed on our exit to resupply despite our shortcut bypassing this awesome oasis for TA walkers…. You win some you lose some I guess lol 🙂