Tararua Forest Park, Manawatū – May 2022 & January 2023
One of the most northerly huts in the northern Tararua Range is Burn Hut, situated on a ridge near Taramea (837 metres), high above the Mangahao River. The 6-bunk hut was built in 2002 by the Horowhenua Hunting Club, replacing an older Forest Service hut of the same name in a nearby location. The Backcountry Trust recently funded track work in the area, using Kaimahi for Nature funding generously given by the government.
Reaching Burn Hut is possible using a loop track in the Mangahao Valley that begins from Lower No. 2 Reservoir and ends at Upper No. 1 Reservoir. However, the track had become very overgrown, so over the last year the BCT contracted a team from Ruapehu WorX to clear the track. The team is based in Ōhakune.
A Ruapehu WorX team began work in May 2022. After flying in the Burn Hut, they used scrub-bars to cut the track along the ridge to the north and south, encountering waist-high sub-alpine vegetation in many places. They completed this first stage of the project after reaching the bushedge above College Creek.
Stage two was tackled late in January 2023, when another Ruapehu WorX team returned to Burn Hut.
Another four days of intense work, sometimes in heavy rain, saw this team continue to clear the track down to College Creek (locally referred to as ‘Macks Track’), then tackle the track around Baber Forks, which required some use of chainsaws.
They also cleared vegetation around the hut, other structures and signs.
Thanks to the team for their hard mahi.