Mt Richmond Forest Park huts
There’s plenty of huts in Mt Richmond Forest Park and that includes the ones along the Te Araroa Trail route. They tend to be spaced at about four or five hours walk apart which means if you are jumping huts you can be in for some biggish days.
Many of the huts were built in the 1960s for the NZ Forest Service, primarily for deer cullers, and they are often of a standard six bunk design called for some reason SF70. A few are in fairly original condition, Mid and Top Wairoa huts retain open fireplaces that have elsewhere often been replaced with steel fireboxes elsewhere due to the wastage of wood, or the risk of burning down the hut.
Most have mostly been somewhat renovated, insulation added, louvre windows replaced, and are comfy enough at least when not full to capacity, there’s fireproof mattresses, the wood burner for winter heating, stainless steel benches, etc.
Set on a sunny clearing, if it’s sunny, before you start the climb up to, or when you finish your descent from, Totara Saddle.
It’s an almost flat site with a short walk down to the attractive Wakamarina River, with a pleasant swimming hole in summer.
Set on a river flat above the magnificent Pelorus River, you can swim on a summer’s day.
Devils Hut is a typical NZFS SF70 style six bunker that has been altered over the years.
Out the back of the 1960s six bunk Devils Hut is the original slab hut version.
The Dun Mountain Shelter is an emergency shelter for when the weather turns particularly bad rather than a hut.
Emerald Pool campsite may not be classed as an official DOC camping area, but there’s no actual restriction here. Not much in the way facilities, but for the experienced camper there’s most of what you need: a flat area to pitch your tent, flowing water nearby, and the jackpot, a picnic table.
On a clear day there is a great view to the south, and then from the top of Mt Fishtail, an hour up, the full 360° vista of Mt Richmond Forest Park.
The splendid view over the Wairau valley is slowly being lost due to the growth of trees. Get there quick! You might like it. The hut has a pleasant ambiance.
Refurbished hut near the new swingbridge.
Somehow when a hut has a big table with seating and decent windows to look out at a view it seems your standard tramper has hit the jackpot.
Has to be one of the most scenic places to whack up a tent, just off a main highway, around.
If you like your huts to be in the long corridor style, this is the one for you.
Set on a river flat the hut has been modified over the years, a verandah, new windows, firebox, etc, and is as good a place to stay as any.
Some years ago Mid Goulter Hut was hauled 20 m up the hill and reorientated to catch the afternoon sun.
This is a reminder of what some of the old NZFS huts were like back in the day: open fireplace, poorly orientated, galvanised steel bench top.
One of the old style NZFS SF70 huts like the one’s either direction, Captains Creek and Middy Creek.
Note that you need to cross Pine Valley Stream, so it would be best to check the weather forecast to ensure that you are not stranded.
This hut has a fab ambience, might be something to do with the glazing, which is more than that of your standard 1960s hut.
Rintoul is an old NZFS hut, well renovated, with plenty of light streaming in. That’s double nice.
Quite a climb, 1200 m actually, unrelenting though not ever “steep”. That makes the views from Mount Riley and Sunday spectacular, as you take in the Wairau valley, Tapuae-o-Uenuku, Blenheim, Cook Strait, the Marlborough Sounds, and much of the eastern portion of Mount Richmond Forest Park.
A great little hut set in a sizeable clearing.
The mature kahikatea and matai dominated forest is a lovely backdrop.
Old hut with a good vibe and a vibrant exterior colour scheme.
Red Hills hut does have a few picture windows, for a view, all double glazed, and the big insulation keeps the passive solar accommodation warm enough, at least on a sunny day.
There’s good views to the north and view from the dunny is stunning. It’s an hour or so scoot up to the top of Mt Richmond from here, steep and unstable.
It’s a good ‘un, complete with flushing toilets, two, a big water tank and a view into the Pelorus River valley, and, for some reason, despite its proximity to Nelson it’s not used all that much.
The hut is sited on a sunny flat above the junction of two major components of the Pelorus, swing bridges over both, and with an attractive pool just downstream. Nice.
A standard NZFS hut from back in the day has been renovated: the open fireplace replaced with a firebox; painted inside and out; and is as comfortable as any along the route.
Yup, she’s a pretty nice spot and a great old hut.
This is just a warning that the “stone” aspect is more descriptive than the “hut” bit.
Set just off the main track in a sunny clearing, when it’s sunny, Tarn is another well renovated, comfy, hut.
Another original, almost, NZFS hut that retains its open fireplace, a smoky experience apparently, according to the hut book, you get the fire going but have to open the door and windows. Those were the days.