Historical Note, April 2009

Yes, it really is. On 17 March 2009, Ngaro-Te-Kotare Hut was officially 80 years old.

Ngaro-Te-Kotare opening, 17 March 1929. Did our pioneering members who worked so hard in the summer of 1928-29 think that their efforts would still be appreciated 80 years later?

In 1928 four members each put up the sum of twenty-five pounds for the club to purchase the seven acres of land. The club paid them back in 1930. We have no record of how this was achieved, but presume it was revenue from hut fees.

In 1928 most people worked Saturday morning, so it was on to the afternoon train and a long walk from Glen Eden or Henderson to the hut site, sometimes carrying heavy loads of building materials on top of an already heavy pack - no light-weight gear in those days.

Over time the hut has had a number of transformations. It was extended sometime in the 1940s, and then had a major upgrade in 2002, comprising new kitchen area with gas cooking installed, large porch and firewood-storage, and a tool-shed. At the time of upgrade, off-road parking with locked gate was also added. What would the members of 1928 have to say to that?

The hut is in regular use, mainly by outside groups: schools, scouts and guides, and church groups, who all appreciate the ‘back-country’ flavour of the place.

I first used the hut myself in 1964 as a member of a school tramping club, and have thought of it as a special place ever since. The meaning of Ngaro-Te-Kotare is ‘The Hidden Lookout’, a fairly appropriate name. The bush has grown considerably even in my time with the club, but I certainly remember being able to run a map-reading course on the many features that were easily visible from the hut.

The building is in excellent order and maintained by a small dedicated group of members.

Well, there it is, 80 years on and still ready for use by all. Have you been there lately? What about that next birthday?

Make a booking today and experience the beauty of the Waitakere Ranges from this historic location.