Our much-loved Waitakere hut

For many decades Club members and non-members alike have flocked to the Club’s wonderful Waitakere hideaway - Ngaro Te Kotare (The Hidden Lookout).

Ngaro Te Kotare is a large backcountry-style 24-bed hut easily accessed via Piha and Anawhata roads, and just 40 minutes from downtown Auckland. It has secure off-road parking just a short walk away.

Ngaro Te Kotare Hut in the Waitakere Ranges

Once used extensively by the Club for overnight tramps, then later as a frequent stopping point on Waitakere day walks, NTK now sees less Club use.

With vehicle access almost to the door, it has instead evolved into a valuable, and unique, community asset. The Club has made NTK available to the public - individuals and groups can book out the hut, or a bunk for the night. 

Given the superb location, it’s little wonder our welcoming and well-maintained hut has become such a popular base for training courses, team building exercises, social activities, or just a quiet weekend retreat away from it all in our own little haven of the Waitakere bush. 

Trampers in Waitakere bush

See below for information on booking NTK.

Nearby Tracks

There are many tracks and points of interest near NTK Hut such as the Waitakere Dam.

BUT these are currently mostly closed as a kauri protection measure. This means at the moment there is very limited walking nearby. 

We all hope and expect that Auckland Council will re-open important local tracks over time.

Ngaro Te Kotare history

With the assistance of a loan from various members, the Club bought the 7.5 acre site in 1928. Before that time the bush had been cleared and the land was farmed.

Since 1928 the bush has made a remarkable recovery, so that the hut is now situated in a grassy clearing surrounded by thick bush and mature trees.

Building started in December 1928 with foundation blocks cut from the remains of a fallen totara. 

Clearing Ngaro Te Kotare building site    Ngaro Te Kotare Hut opening 1929

Building progressed remarkably quickly given its then remote location. Imagine this – on most weekends club members would catch the Saturday afternoon train to Henderson and walk the nine miles to the hut site carrying building materials on top of their packs!

Ngaro Te Kotare was officially opened on 17 March 1929, and immediately became an indispensable part of Club life. Right through to the 1960s the hut was used most weekends.

It has also been a location for several movies – the most famous being the hilarious and rollicking Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Star Sam Neill is reported to have made himself right at home!

In June 2019 the club held a celebratory 90th birthday party for and at Ngaro Te Kotare – see the report and photos.

The hut remains a valuable Club asset and is an integral part of our history

Booking Ngaro Te Kotare

What’s included?

- The hut has platform bunks, sleeping 24. Mattresses are provided, but you should bring your own bedding, preferably a sleeping bag.

- Cooking pots, crockery and cutlery are provided. 

- There are two wood-burning stoves and gas hobs are available.


Adults $15.00 per night
Youth (14 - 17 yrs) $10.00 per night
Children (13 yrs and under) $5.00 per night
Block Booking $180.00 per night


How to book

Contact: Robin Houston
Phone: 0274 310 010 (between 8am-5pm)
  09 8177 849 (between 7pm-9pm)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Online Payments to:

Account: Auckland Tramping Club - 02 0100 0024675 00
Particulars: NTK Hut
Code: (your name)
Reference: (first date booked for)


From a grateful visitor:

"Please pass my thanks on to the club for the upkeep of the hut. We very much enjoyed our stay there on the weekend with friends and children. We had an adventurous bush walk and enjoyed being able to spend the night out in the bush. The hut is a real piece of tramping history."


Ngaro Te Kotare location