New Kaimai Hut Now Open !
The new hut in the Kaimais constructed by the Kaimai Ridgeway Trust (KRT) is virtually complete, with bookings for general use now open for dates from September 30th onwards. DOC Website link here.
As you can see from these photos it’s very different to a standard DOC hut – different shape, materials, design.
There’s no doubt it’s going to be a very popular destination, being between 3 and 6 hours’ walk from 7 different road ends in the southern Kaimai. Although being owned and maintained by the Kaimai Ridgeway Trust, it is bookable via the DOC booking system.
The construction was managed for KRT by Stan Lowe of the NZ Deerstalkers Association Bay Of Plenty branch, with funding provided from a number of sources - including the Backcountry Trust and the ATC. Most of the volunteers working on the hut were deerstalkera.
The hut was blessed by Ngati Hinerangi on Friday 13th Septemeber.
There is an open weekend to celebrate the opening from Friday 11th October through Sunday 13th October - feel free to come in to check out the hut any time over those 3 days - either as a day walk, or to stay overnight. If you want a bunk in the hut on either of those nights check with Tony sooner rather than later. Note this is also a work weekend at the hut site - thee is quite a bit of site tidy up to be done that wiull take some time, but it will be good to finally get that underway.
The quickest access from Auckland is to drive to the Te Tuhi road end, east of Okauia / Matamata. From there with a day pack it is around 2.5 hours; tramping one way - with an overnight pack allow 3 hours, as the first part is a good climb up through farmalnd and then in bush. After 1.5 hours you get to the North South Track where you turn right / south and walk for another hour.
Continue to check on the Kaimai project on their website http://www.kaimairidgeway.nz/ - and even beter, resgister there to receive Kaimai newsletters.