How To Get There
Roger's Hut is accessed from the eastern start of Te Hoe track in the Whirinaki Forest Park. The track starts at the end of the Ohaku Valley Road which is off State Highway 38 between Rotorua and Wairoa. The turnoff onto Ohaku Valley Road is well marked and approximately 8 kilometres east of the main Whirinaki Forest turnoff to Minginui. The track start is 10 kms down Ohaku Valley Road at the end. There is a campsite at the start of the track.
The track starts with a steady climb (30 minutes) to the first saddle at the head of the Ohaku Valley and then drops down to the Whanagatawhia stream. Just under an hour from the car park the first of a series of large footbridges
is reached. This bridge crosses a side stream, the others crisscross Whanagatawhia itself. All along here were signs of the winter storm damage, but DOC had done a great job of clearing the track.
The track continues down the stream, with footbridges where necessary passing a waterfall about 90 minutes after leaving the car park. 30 minutes later and Skips Hut
is reached. Along the way I spotted a blue duck (whio)
sitting on a log by the river. He was the only one I saw but I heard two more up at Roger's Hut. Skips Hut made a nice spot for lunch. The hut is pretty standard with nine bunks and a log burner. Judging by the log book, a lot of trampers seem to spend the night here before attempting to go on to Moerangi Hut past Roger's.
From Skips Hut the track climbs another saddle (1 hour from Skips) to cross over into a side stream of the Whakangutuwhio stream. It was just after the saddle that I spotted my first ever wild deer. One was actually on the track, a female, and the other which looked like a young one just off to the left. Unfortunately both took off before I could get my camera out to take any photos.
The track continues along the stream joining up with the Whakangutuwhio reaching a large footbridge crossing the Moerangi stream some 90 minutes after leaving Skips Hut. Roger's Hut is found just a few minutes after the bridge.
cannot be missed as it has been painted in a lovely orange dayglow colour! However the gaudy exterior hides a stunning wooden interior with a lead light window
just to add extra character to a lovely cosy hut. The hut is situated on a terrace over looking the stream with a picnic table and deck outside. The hut was named after the first child of Rex Forrester who was involved in its construction back in 1952.
Although this was the end point for my tramp, there are many other options from Rogers Hut if you have more time. You could continue on along Te Hoe track, although when I visited the Upper Whirinaki hut at Christmas, the track between there and the Upper Te Hoe hut was impassable. The track eventually comes out to the west near the Plateau car park or you could carry on past Upper Whirinaki Hut to join the Whirinaki track and exit at the River Road car park. Obviously transport would be required for either of these options.
Another option from Rogers hut would be to head towards Moerangi hut and exit from there via River Road. Again there is a transport issue with this option.
Whatever option you choose this is a great area to tramp in, although there was not as much bird life as over at Upper Whirinaki there are obviously plenty of deer and seeing a whio is always a treat.