Tautuku Hut, Catlins

Where is it?: Catlins area, near Tautuku beach. Track starts from same carpark as McLean Falls which is well signposted (turn off main road at the Whistling Frog).

The Track: Absolutely stunning 4.5km through old forest – huge tree ferns, massive rimu and rata, the biggest broad leafs I’ve seen. So wonderful that this escaped logging (one assumes). Pretty muddy underfoot. Took us (6 and 9 year old) 2hrs. A bit of an uphill plod, then along through the ‘tops’ and down to hut.

The Hut: Has recently been renovated by Permolat Southland (thanks guys!) including the new porch. 4 bunks. It’s still a bit ‘rickety’ but in pretty good condition. No fire, water from the stream (gotta love tanins). Space to camp and could also sleep on porch once the sandflies have gone to bed. Popular area for hunters so be prepared to share the hut (we were there on a Friday night and 3 other people turned up). When were lucky enough to watch a ruru flying around the hut catching moths and then the partial eclipse – the porch window was perfect viewing spot.

Good to know: Probably not much other than it’s a popular hunting area. No water on the walk in. This is a free hut but the money to maintain these huts and tracks needs to come from somewhere so buy some tickets or an Annual Hut Pass anyway 🙂


Visited by Clark whānau, Nov 2021