Ministry of Works Historic Hut / Mackay Downs Hut | Kahurangi National Park
Not many trampers visit what used to be called the Mackay Downs Hut, built by the MOW, Ministry of Works, as a base for surveying a possible road from Karamea to Collingwood.
The original hut book is quarter full after 45 years of use, despite the often long and involved entries. There are often months between visits (describing people’s adventures as they come up from the Kahurangi Lighthouse), like 19, 15, 8, etc, but anyone who visits seems to treat the hut with the deserved respect. That’s possibly because there is no actual track to the hut, and you need reasonable map reading skills to find it in the maze of octopus-like tiny valleys.
The Ministry of Works Historic Hut is the most original and well preserved NZFS SF70 type huts built in the northern half of the South Island. It’s one of the few that follows the designed plan, most were modified. The two major modifications are the replacement of the original canvas bunks with timber slats and mattresses, hooray, and pouring a concrete hearth to the fireplace.
Yeah, it’s a great hut.
category . . . basic hut/bivvy
hut fee . . . free
elevation . . . 820 m
bunks . . . 6
built . . . 1970, refurbished 1985
heating . . . open fireplace
water . . . bucket and 30 m walk to small stream
toilet . . . none, shovel provided to bury waste← Lower Gridiron Shelter | Kahurangi National Park Kahurangi Keepers House | Kahurangi National Park →