Powell Hut: A Wairarapa icon

Department of Conservation —  05/10/2018

Powell Hut, the most popular hut in Tararua Forest Park, offers spectacular and invigorating views. Located just above the bushline, the stunning vistas are a fitting reward for those who complete the 1,200 metre climb up through the surrounding native beech forest.

Powell Hut. 📷: Jack Mace

Perched high on the Tararua Ranges, the iconic huts that have graced this site have been a beacon to tired and weary trampers for almost 80 years. The original Powell Hut was built in 1939, and was rebuilt by the Hutt Valley Tramping Club in 1981. This burnt down in 1999 and the current incarnation was built in 2000.

The current hut has suffered from weather tightness problems that have weakened the overall structure. Powell Hut is now being rebuilt to improve the structure and provide a better experience for visitors.

Powell Hut will be closed to all users from 1 November 2018 until 30 April 2019 for the existing hut to be demolished and a new hut re-built.

A Wairarapa icon

Powell Hut is the most popular hut in Tararua Forest Park with over 3000 bed nights per year.

The hut is in a gorgeous setting, nestled in the hills amongst beautiful tussock grasses. Epic sunrises, winter wonderlands and beautiful native forests are just some of the drawcards that bring visitors to this area year on year.

Powell Hut. 📷: Bev Bacon

Powell Hut is a popular place to stop and rest before climbing the summit of Mount Holdsworth for stunning 360 views of the Wairarapa region.

New and improved hut

The new Powell Hut will contain 32 bunks, split between four bunk rooms, with two rooms of 10 bunks and two rooms of six bunks. It would also feature an expanded deck to make the most of the incredible view.

View from Powell Hut. 📷: Bev Bacon

The new design was based on consultation. There was a huge amount of interest when we asked people last year what they wanted for the new hut with more than 800 people contributing ideas.

We’ve designed it for what modern users are looking for. The key piece of feedback was that people really enjoyed the view at the hut, so the new deck will be about three times the size of the existing deck and will include seating.

People also said they wanted more privacy, so we opted for four bunk rooms.

Building begins

Construction on the new Powell Hut will begin in November. The site is a very exposed and challenging place to work and construction time will definitely be influenced by the weather.

We are taking a cautious approach and advising people the hut will be closed for six months, but we hope to have it open ahead of schedule and will be providing regular updates.

Tararua Forest Park

Powell Hut will be closed to all users from 1 November 2018 until 30 April 2019 for the existing hut to be demolished and a new hut re-built.

One response to Powell Hut: A Wairarapa icon

    Alan Wright 17/10/2018 at 8:58 am

    Could we please see a plan of the new hut?