Skips Hut, Whirinaki-Te-Puna-a-Tāne Conservation Park

Getting there:

From Murupara travel south east along Te Whaiti Rd. Once you reach Te Whaiti this road becomes Ruatahuna Rd. Continue along this road for a further 7.5 km until you reach a right hand turn to Okahu Valley Rd. The car park is 9 km south on Okahu Valley Rd. Alternatively, from Te Whaiti turn left onto Minginui Road and follow the signs to River Road car park.

The Walk:

We managed this walk when the kids were 4mth and 2 years. We also had friends with us who had an 18mth old. It is also part of the Moerangi Mountain Bike route. For this trip, I walked in with the 4-month-old (it took me approx 90mins but I would double this for little legs, 7km) and the others rode the older children in on their bikes. All the adults had light packs for this first trip. Once there and after eating lunch the men rode back out to the cars and walked back in with the heavy packs. The track is not flat but beautiful and could definitely be walked into with kids or ridden in with older children. Please note, the riding is technical and steep at times so adults and/or the children would need to be confident riders. Riding also limits the size of the pack you can comfortably carry, hence our return trip for extra gear. It can also be popular at times with cyclists (listen out for bikes) and hunters. Neither tends to stay at the hut but at times there can be lots of other track users, at other times you meet no one.

The Hut:

The hut itself is fairly basic, 9 bunks, with good heating and an outside area for play and tables for eating. It is close to the river though (down a bank) which may be a good or a bad thing depending on the age of the children.
Rogers Hut is only a few km further on if you wanted to make it a 3-night escape or gives other hut users the opportunity to keep walking if they don’t want to share the hut with kids (c;
We loved it and hope others will too!

Visited by: Karyn Kerrison, family, and friends.