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Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

Home  »  North Island Walks  »  Masterton  »  Atiwhakatu Hut Walk – Walk detail

You can cross from the east coast to the west coast from here.

Quick Facts

        • Location: East Coast, North Island, Wairarapa
        • Distance: 14.00 kms
        • Time needed: 2 Hours to the Hut
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Double back
        • Elevation: 313m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: Yes
        • Mobile Coverage: No
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    Thousands of acres of prime NZ native bush. Gallons of fresh pure mountain water flowing into the Atiwhakatu river. Hunter’s and tramper’s paradise. And good for trout fishing, only in the season of course. You can cross from the east coast to the west coast from here, plus walk all the way to Wellington. Or walk north to Palmerston North. Easy tracks to follow, but very very cold and windy on the open tops, even in summer. Nice new hut.

  • Track Quality

    Good, the track can change year to year because of slips and flooding

  • Hazards

    Rain Rain Rain

  • Transport


  • Water

    Yes,from the lodge and out of the creeks

  • Driving Instructions

    From down town Masterton, drive south on highway 2 as if you were driving to windy Wellington. At 4.8 km you should be driving over the Waingawa River bridge. Drive another 800m, you need to turn to the right in to Norfolk Rd. Look for the sign to Tararua Rangers and Holdsworth Lodge. The drive out to the lodge is 15km. At 10.5km you will cross over a small bridge, take the road to the hard left. The road is sealed up to the main gate.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Only in Masterton

  • Area & Track History


  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk – Start

You can see there is no problem looking for a place to set up the tent. On the right-hand side is the ranger’s accommodation; just past the ranger’s house up to the right is the main ablution block. At the very end of the road, is a locked gate. From there walk 3 minutes down the road to the lodge. You can ask the ranger to unlock the gate so you can dive down to t he lodge and unload your gear.

Point 2: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

From the lodge walk 50m to the bridge. Turn right after crossing the bridge and walk 12 minutes along the service road to the first turnoff on your left. The sign will say, Gentle Annie Track, Powell Hut and Mountain house new shelter give this one a miss. You take the right turn to Donnelly Flats.

Point 3: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

Donnelly Flats 20 minutes is a very popular camping spot for school groups and family’s, very flat and right on the river bank. There are no amenities, just a couple of open fire places and no wood for miles. From here on you walk along the Atiwhakatu Stream.

Point 4: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

Two bridges to cross. The first bridge is 50 minutes into the walk, a piece of cake; the second bridge is 1 hour into the walk, it is a swing bridge which can be a little slippery after a drop of rain.

Point 5: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

1 hours 55 minutes. This is the first time I have seen an aluminium bridge way out in the bush. The previous bridge did not last long, it was made of wood. As you can see the creek is flowing quite fast today, it did not stop raining for the three days we were there. You can just make out the island over to the right of the photo; the island is a great place to stop for the night or just for a hot cup of coffee. But not today.

Point 6: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

From the alloy bridge onto the hut is straightforward going except for a couple of small slips, it seems a hassle getting around this slip, but that’s only because the walk so far has been excellent. The board walks help with the boggy areas and make for a pleasant change.

Point 7: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

2 hour 25 minutes – Atiwhakatu Hut. There is one last fixed bridge to cross; now you have only 7 minute walk before you can put the billy on. The hut is nice and new which is great. The creek is just in front of the door and the toilet is 20m up the track. Finding firewood is like looking for hens teeth blind folded.

All walks in Masterton…

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5581, New Zealand

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