Waihohonu Huts Tongariro National Park

Friday 16/09/2016
Purely an opportunistic hut bag on a road trip from Wellington to Mangatawhiri with Friday night stop over in Waiouru. Leo and I arrived in Waiouru about nine p.m. and checked into the motel. The weather was looking ok, no rain, a bit of wind, so I sorted out my gear and headed off up the Desert Road looking for the Waihohonu track entrance.
Waihohonu Track Entrance
Stashed the car so it was not easily seen and headed off.
Stashed car
The night walk was windy with some light rain, not cold, and a very easy wander to the Waihohonu hut. What a massive empty thing, dropped my pack inside and then ran to the historic hut and back.

Saturday 17/09/2016
Out of bed at 0700 hours and a quick breakfast, some photos and then a fast walk/jog back to the car.
Waihohonu Hut
Area around the hut
Ranges in the distant
Track on way out
More track
Car survived the night alone
Did an ankle twist on the way, later that night my ankle was a bit swollen.
Fat ankle
Map of Trip
Waihohonu Track
Trip Times
Friday 16/09/2016
2150 Arrived at Waihohonu track entrance, stashed the car
2202 Started walking Waihohonu track to hut
2225 Bridge
2253 NAtional Park boundry
2311 Waihohonu hut, dropped pack
2325 Historic Waihohonu Hut, then back to the new one
Saturday 17/09/2016
0752 Left Waihohonu Hut
0843 Back to car at Waihohonu track entrance

Tauanui Hut Aorangi Forest Park

This Tauanui Hut is approximately three kilometers up a small river from a forestry road. Making the hut an easy wander in and just a couple of hours of walk time, so fitted into a Saturday when the morning gets eaten up by car stuff.

Saturday 10/09/2016
Jessie and I only got going on Saturday afternoon. Drove over the Rimutaka's and took a right at Featherston heading down the Lake Ferry Road and shot past Whakatomotomo Road. When we got to the Pailliser Road turnoff we new we had missed the turnoff, back tracked, found it and headed off down the road. Approx four kilometers down the road that heads North East. Take this to the locked gate.
Whakatomotomo Road
Got to a gate that was not locked, assumed it could get locked so we left the car here and set off. About a kilometer down the road we came to another gate, this one locked. Kept on the gravel road until it started heading South heading up hill. We walked back and took the first four wheel drive track heading North. This soon gave us our first river crossing. Here we wandered around a bit as the river was up and we hoped to find a track or else it would be a cold walk in the river. We soon found the four wheel drive track that goes all the way to the hut. Not on current maps.
4 wheel drive track
remains of something?
When the track is the river. Jessie.
Cool fungi spotted on the way, this one is endemic to New Zealand.
Ileodictyon cibarium
At the hut, and firewood time, made just a little bit hard because there is no axe. Nice typical old Forest Service six bunker.
Interior Tauanui Hut
Sunday 11/09/2016
Had a good long sleep and a leisurely breakfast, such a nice day. Left just before midday, such an easy walk out.
Tauanui Hut
Tauanui Hut
Easy way out
Trip Times
Saturday 10/09/2016
1536 Left the car
1736 At Tauanui Hut
Sunday 11/09/2016
1150 Left the hut
1254 Last river crossing to gravel road
1333 At the car

Tauanui River and hut

Zekes Hut Hihitahi

Hihitahi Forest Sanctuary has one of the two huts that begins with Z; those are Zoo and Zekes. The Zekes Hut is easy access from Wellington and is in an interesting forest.

The forest has two interesting tree species that are and or still are part of a study due to the die off of the trees. These are Seems to have opossum's as one of the main causes of this? Have not yet been able to find recent data on the issues.

Friday 02/09/2016
We (Paul and I) drove away from Wellington at 2000 hours on Friday heading to somewhere just South of Waiouru to park up and head into the Hihitahi Forest. The car park is right on the side of the main highway, in full view of all passing cars. I did hope my car would still be there on Saturday afternoon when we would be coming out. Lucky I didn't see all the broken glass where we parked on Friday night.

The walk to the hut on the Friday night was dark and misty and finished early Saturday morning with hut arrival after 0130 hours. Got the fire going and had a cup of tea and read for an hour or so, Paul was straight into his sleep bag and out. We did not see a single opossum on our walk in. The only observed sign was opossum shit in the wood pile at the hut.
Hihitahi swing bridge
Saturday 03/09/2016
The walk out was very enjoyable as we could examine the forest in the day light
Zekes Hut and its sign
Zekes Hut
Zekes Hut in the middle
The Ceder trees
Survey area

That other guy
The hanging tree full of crows
Close up, no hanging, no crows
Farm land approaching

Edge of the sanctury
Looking back
Looking back at the swing bridge
The car on the side of the road - undamaged!
Trip Times
Friday 02/09/2016
2310 Left car parked on the side of the road
2315 Over the style
2324 Crossed Hihitahi swing
0056 Hihitahi survey mark
0134 Zekes Hut 
Saturday 03/09/2016
1146 Left Zekes Hut 
1235 Hihitahi Survey mark
1340 Fence line
1346 Swing bridge
1352 Over the style
1353 At the car

  • http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/science-and-technical/sfc255.pdf
  • http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/science-and-technical/SFC190.pdf
  • http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/science-and-technical/Sfc052.pdf