Time: 3 to 3.5 hours
Distance: 6.2 kms
The second day of the circuit saw the sun come out and give us wonderful views of Ruapehu as we had breakfast at Waihohonu. From the new hut you drop down to a swingbridge which crosses the Waihohonu stream and then heads upwards past the middle-aged hut through a small section of forest.
As you emerge from the forest climbing to a ridge, there are absolutely amazing views of Ruapehu with the Waihohonu valley in the foreground. Having dropped down from this first ridge you then climb a second for more views and just to add to it all Ngauruhoe shifts into the scene as well.
The track carries on along the top of the ridge and then turns right towards Oturere Hut. A couple of river crossings later with a final section through some incredible landscape you reach the hut after about 3 hours.
I took longer, almost 4.5 hours, but I put this down to exhaustion, why I'm not sure. Oturere hut has a grand vista of Ngauruhoe and you can also spot the Red Crater in the distance. The hut itself is smaller than Waihohonu but is comfortable. I spent the afternoon sunning myself whilst staring at Ngauruhoe.Day Three - Oturere Hut to Mangatepopo Hut >>>
Category: Great Walk Hut
Heating: Log Burner
Water: Rain water tank
Cost: Great Walk Hut ticket