Roaring Lion Hut | Kahurangi National Park

Some trampers make light of the effort required to get to Roaring Lion. Hunters and fishers often use helicopters, but the usual routes are the 7 km down the trackless Karamea River from Karamea Bend Hut, or over Kakapo Spur from the Cobb Valley, and some choose Lake Henderson and Breakfast Creek.

It’s possible to stay on the true right of the Karamea River all the way, bush bashing, but when the river is low it can be crossed to expedite progress. While the first kilometres are easy, as they are on gravel, plenty of greasy boulder hopping is required. You can choose to avoid bluffs further down by crossing and re-crossing the river, where it’s not too chunky underfoot. (For some, it makes sense to cross either 14 or 18 times, each way!) Avoiding the last two higher bluffs may require swimming, but the river can be slow with a gravel bottom.

The track to the hut from the last river flat was recut in 2021 and is well-marked through a lovely forest to prepare you for the scenic location. Yup, it’s a great little hut with a splendid view up the appropriately named Beautiful River valley.

The hut was extended and renovated by Backcountry Trust volunteers in 2020. It was partially repiled, re-roofed, repainted, with a new plywood floor installed, a porch and verandah built, along with a new woodshed.

Not for the unadventurous, with some experience of crossing large rivers and/or bush bashing on steep, greasy slopes for an extended period of time. Not recommended as a wet weather trip.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

category . . . standard hut

hut fee . . . 1 hut ticket or backcountry hut pass, free to camp

elevation . . . 260 m

bunks . . . 5 mattresses in bunks

built . . . 1975, relocated mining structure, renovated, plywood floor and verandah added 2021

heating . . . wood burner

water . . . from Roaring Lion River, 50 m each way on the marked trail

toilet . . . longdrop

← Riordans Hut | Kahurangi National Park Salisbury Lodge | Kahurangi National Park →