New Zealand

Te Rereatukahia Hut Circuit

How To Get There
The track starts at a car park at the end of Hot Springs Road. There is ample parking and the road is suitable for 2 wheel drive vehicles. The turning for Hot Springs Road is approximately 4 kms south of Katikati on State Highway 2 in the Bay of Plenty.
Tramp Description

Day One
Te Rereatukahia Hut can be reached in about three hours via the direct track that starts just before the car park. However a more interesting way to tramp to the hut is to start on the Tuahu track which crosses the Kaimais. The Tuahu track meets the north-south track and this can be taken to get to the hut. The direct track can then be used to return to the car park the following day.
The Tuahu track starts at the end of the car park and is an easy track gently climbing the Kaimai range. Another reason to take the track is to see a magnificent Kauri tree, a well worthwhile 10 minute side trip from the track. The large kauri adjacent to the track is over 2.7 metres in diameter and over 600 years old - an impressive specimen. The Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park is the southernmost natural occurrence of this magnificent species.
Back on the Tuahu track it continues its steady climb up onto the main range. Along the way there are many stunning views back towards the Pacific Ocean including a view of Mount Maunganui and Tauranga. After a couple of hours (7 km) the track reaches the junction with the North-South track. The Tuahu track continues westward and ends about 10 kms from Te Aroha in the Waikato province.
To reach Te Rereatukahia hut, turn northward at the junction along the North-South track and follow the undulating Kaimai ridge. There are more impressive views along the way, however the Kaimais tops are quite often cloud-covered. The North-South track is more of a tramping track than Tuahu and requires a bit more effort. For the vast majority of the way the track sidles alongside an old fence from days gone by when the Kaimai ranges were farmed. Take care as parts of the fencing have barbed wire.
After a number of climbs and drops (4 km) a junction is reached where the North-South track used to continue to the left. This route has now been closed and according to notes in the hut log book is extremely dangerous. In fact a tramping party had to be rescued recently whilst attempting this route.
The hut is just a few minutes past this junction and is situated in a small clearing with great views to south east. The hut has two 'shelves' of bunks and has room for about 12 people. There's plenty of bench space for cooking and eating, with a nice deck outside to lounge on after a hard day's tramping. However there is no heating in the hut and even when I was there in March it was a bit nippy during the night, so it could get quite chilly during a winter visit.

Day Two
To return continue along the track you were on yesterday. Along the first section of the track there are nice views back towards the main ridge. After just over an hour the track splits, the left hand track is the new North-South track leading to Wharawhara Road and further on to Waitawheta Hut (5 hours from this junction).
About 30 minutes on from the junction the track enters a stunning kauri grove. You find yourself surrounded by these magnificent trees, rising straight and true from the ground. This is definitely the highlight of the tramp.
From the grove the track continues downwards into the Te Rereatukahia valley and after 30 minutes the stream is forded. The track climbs for a short distance to reach the Hot Springs Road about 100 metres from the car park.
This is a lovely tramp with some great views and a good hut. All of the tracks are well marked and over relatively easy terrain. A great weekend tramp.

Tramp Details
Day One
Time: 3 to 4 hours
Distance: 11 kms
Grade: Easy to medium, the Tuahu track is an easy gentle climb with the North-South a slightly harder prospect.
Day Two
Time: 2 to 2.5 hours
Distance: 4.2 kms
Grade: Easy, a well marked track leads down from the hut and Kaimai ridge.
Hut Description
Category: Standard
Bunks: 12
Heating: None
Water: Rain water tank
Cost: One standard hut ticket
Tramp Map
Tramp update - 24 April 2007
TNZ recently received an email from a visitor to the site regarding the old North/South track near the hut. Apparently the track is still well used as far as the 'hill' from where there are great views of the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. Please treat this track with the utmost caution as DOC have closed it for a very good reason yet it sounds like the first section is still OK for a quick side-trip. Thanks to David for this information.
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