Where is it?:
Tongariro National Park – Turangi, National Park, and Ohakune are closest towns. We started from the Scoria Flats carpark – drive past the Chateau and through Whakapapa Village as if you are heading up the mountain. On the right hand side before you get to the main ski lifts, there is a sign showing Scoria Flats carpark. (This hut is also accessible from Whakapapa Village, but this was is shorter and avoids river crossings).
3km from Scoria Flats to Whakapapaiti Hut.
We had 2 adults, and 3 children – aged 17 months (carried almost entire way), nearly 4 year old, and 5.5 year old. It took us approx 3 hours on the way to the hut, including a couple of stops. A bit longer on the way back to carpark as more of track is uphill. Given the area (an actual volcano!!!), the track, especially for the first half is not a beautiful graded track – it is poled, and obvious to follow, but there are lava rocks that are tricky to navigate for little legs – but super interesting!
The zig-zags are fun – how many zig’s and how many zag’s are there helped us get up them on the way home!
Towards the hut, the track goes into the bush for a bit. Otherwise, exposed the whole way.
Sleeps 18. Best bit for us was there was a small side room which slept 7 (I think) – 3 on bottom platform, and 3 on top platform, and 1 other. It meant we could put our young family in there and be a bit separate from others. All 5 of us slept on bottom bunks at a squish.
Fire is right in centre of hut – which is a hazard when watching young ones! Really clean and tidy, and super clean toilet – not a fly to be seen or heard, and the best view up to Mt Ruapehu!
Good to know:
Not bookable, and due to closeness to road end could get busy on weekends. But lots of people coming from Round the Mountain Track so getting there later in the day (hopefully) than little legs. There is a stream which is good for playing/throwing rocks into. From Scoria Flats starting point, there are no river crossings, and it is shorter, which is why we chose this was rather than the track from Whakapapa Village.
Maz Willis and whanau.
Easter Sunday, 2022