The walk into the Atiwhakatu Hut will take you around 2 hours on an easy good track.

You’ll walk through typical New Zealand lush bush with lots of freshwater. The Atiwhakatu Hut Walk is a new 26-bunk hut located in the Wairarapa region of the North Island.  The Department of Conservation manages Atiwhakatu Hut; fees and booking information can be found here.

This is a detailed account of our walk to Atiwhakatu Hut from the carpark.

Explore the Local Area

Wairarapa has some of the most stunning scenery and also some stunning wines.  Combine the two and relax and enjoy a full-day tour of the area.  Wine tasting, lunch and dinner also included.

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: Wairarapa, North Island,
  • Distance: 14.00 km
  • Time needed: 2 Hours to the Hut
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Route: Return
  • Elevation: 313m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Dogs: Yes
  • Mobile Coverage: No
  • Last Updated: November 2020

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

Summary points about this walk

Motorhome Rental Deals


Save up to 75% off tours


Points of interest along the walk​

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 drive down to the lodge and unload your gear.

Point 2: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

From the lodge walk 50 m 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

You’ll arrive at Donnelly Flats in around 20 minutes.  This is a very popular camping spot for school groups and families, very flat and right on the river bank. There are no amenities, just a couple of open fireplaces, but we couldn’t see any firewood.  From here on walk alongside the Atiwhakatu Stream.

Point 4: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

There are 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

After walking for around 1 hour 55 minutes, there is an aluminium bridge. This is the first time I have seen one this far 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.

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 boardwalks help with the boggy areas and make for a pleasant change.

Point 7: Atiwhakatu Hut Walk

There is one last fixed bridge to cross; now you have an only 7-minute walk before you can put the billy on. After 2 hours 25 minutes, we arrived at Atiwhakatu Hut. 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. We found firewood hard to find.

Join our Facebook Group


North Island Walks

free walks

South Island Walks

free walks