Manuka Hut, Hakatere Conservation Park


Location: Ashburton Lakes, inland from Mt Somers. Follow Ashburton Gorge Road and then onto Hakatere Heron Rd until Castleridge Station. Here you can either park off the track or continue on to the Lake Emily car-park, another 2.7km (which requires decent 4WD, very grooved farm track when we were there, farm signs indicate that people get stuck :/).

Access: 4.5km from Lake Emily car-park. The track gradually climbs over a low ridge, through tall tussocks, celmisia, speargrass, and snowberries! Some of this was a bit overgrown for 4 year old height. Then up the valley to the hut which is tucked around the corner. It took us 4 1/4 hr from the farm (7.2km) including stops (so maybe 3hrs of walking?).

Hut: A basic 6 bunk musterer’s hut. Concrete floor. Clean but quite dark. No sandflies, space to camp outside and a little stream to play/splash in 🙂

NB: This hut is on/near Te Araroa (TA) so during TA season you need to be prepared to share the hut/camp. A friend who has visited this hut in autumn I think also commented that it was pretty cold, given it’s position tucked behind a small hill.

Visited by Clark whanau with Kimberly Wallace, Jan 2020.