Mt Richmond Forest Park huts

There’s plenty of huts in Mt Richmond Forest Park and that includes the ones along the Te Araroa Trail route. They tend to be spaced at about four or five hours walk apart which means if you are jumping huts you can be in for some biggish days.

Many of the huts were built in the 1960s for the NZ Forest Service, primarily for deer cullers, and they are often of a standard six bunk design called for some reason SF70. A few are in fairly original condition, Mid and Top Wairoa huts retain open fireplaces that have often been replaced with steel fireboxes elsewhere due to the wastage of wood or the risk of burning down the hut.

They have mostly been somewhat renovated, insulation added, louvre windows replaced, and are comfy enough at least when not full to capacity, there’s fireproof mattresses, the firebox, stainless steel benches, etc.

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Browning Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Browning Hut in Mt Richmond Forest Park

Set on a sunny clearing, if it’s sunny, before you start the climb up to, or when you finish your descent from, Totara Saddle.

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Butchers Flat campsite | Wakamarina Track, Mt Richmond Forest Park

It’s an almost flat site with a short walk down to the attractive Wakamarina River, with a pleasant swimming hole in summer.

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Captain Creek hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Captains Creek Hut, Pelorus River, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Set on a river flat above the magnificent Pelorus River, you can swim on a summer’s day.

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Devils Hut | Wakamarina Track, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Devils Hut is a typical NZFS SF70 style six bunker that has been altered over the years.

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Devils Hut — historic | Wakamarina Track, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Out the back of the 1960s six bunk Devils Hut is the original slab hut version.

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Dun Mountain shelter | (almost) Mt Richmond Forest Park

Dun Mountain Shelter

The Dun Mountain Shelter is an emergency shelter for when the weather turns particularly bad rather than a hut.

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Emerald Pool campsite | Mt Richmond Forest Park

The top of the actual Emerald Pool, it is bigger and deeper than it looks here.  | Emerald Pool campsite, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Emerald Pool campsite may not be classed as an official DOC camping area, but there’s no actual restriction here. Not much in the way facilities, but for the experienced camper there’s most of what you need: a flat area to pitch your tent, flowing water nearby, and the jackpot, a picnic table.

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Fosters Hut | Wakamarina Track, Mt Richmond Forest Park

The splendid view over the Wairau valley is slowly being lost due to the growth of trees. Get there quick! You might like it. The hut has a pleasant ambiance.

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Hacket Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Hacket Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park interior
Refurbished hut near the new swingbridge.
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Hunters Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Hunters Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Somehow when a hut has a big table with seating and decent windows to look out at a view it seems your standard tramper has hit the jackpot.

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Lake Chalice Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

the hut isn't exactly adjacent to the lake | Lake Chalice Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park

If you like your huts to be in the long corridor style, this is the one for you.

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Lower Goulter Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

coming down from Bushy Top you see the hut way below | Lower Goulter Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Set on a river flat the hut has been modified over the years, a verandah, new windows, firebox, etc, and is as good a place to stay as any.

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Mid Goulter Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

pick of the huts in the vicinity  | Mid Goulter Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Some years ago Mid Goulter Hut was hauled 20m up the hill and reorientated to catch the afternoon sun.

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Mid Wairoa Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Mid Wairoa Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

This is a reminder of what some of the old NZFS huts were like back in the day: open fireplace, poorly orientated, galvanised steel bench top.

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Middy Creek Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

the hut is in a clearing | Middy Creek Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park

One of the old style NZFS SF70 huts like the one’s either direction, Captains Creek and Middy Creek.

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Mt Fell Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Relocated, painted, new water tank, generally restored. | Mt Fell Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park

This hut has a fab ambience, might be something to do with the glazing, which is more than that of your standard 1960s hut.

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Mt Rintoul Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Rintoul Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Rintoul is an old NZFS hut, well renovated, with plenty of light streaming in. That’s double nice.

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Old Man Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Old Man Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

A great little hut set in a sizeable clearing.

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Porters Creek Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Porters Creek Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Old hut with a good vibe and a vibrant exterior colour scheme.

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Red Hills Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Red Hills Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Red Hills hut does have a few picture windows, for a view, all double glazed, and the big insulation keeps the passive solar accommodation warm enough, at least on a sunny day.

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Richmond Saddle Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

That cliff up behind the hut is indeed Mt Richmond. | Richmond Saddle Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park

There’s good views to the north and view from the dunny is stunning. It’s an hour or so scoot up to the top of Mt Richmond from here, steep and unstable.

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Rocks Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Rocks Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park

It’s a good ‘un, complete with flushing toilets, two, a big water tank and a view into the Pelorus River valley, and, for some reason, despite its proximity to Nelson it’s not used all that much.

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Roebuck Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Roebuck Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

The hut is sited on a sunny flat above the junction of two major components of the Pelorus, swing bridges over both, and with an attractive pool just downstream. Nice.

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Slaty Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Slaty Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

A standard NZFS hut from back in the day has been renovated: the open fireplace replaced with a firebox; painted inside and out; and is as comfortable as any along the route.

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Starveall Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Starveall Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Yup, she’s a pretty nice spot and a great old hut.

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Stone Huts | Wakamarina Track, Mt Richmond Forest Park

This is just a warning that the “stone” aspect is more descriptive than the “hut” bit.

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Tarn Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Tarn Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Set just off the main track in a sunny clearing, when it’s sunny, Tarn is another well renovated, comfy, hut.

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Top Wairoa Hut | Mt Richmond Forest Park

Top Wairoa Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Another original, almost, NZFS hut that retains its open fireplace, a smoky experience apparently, according to the hut book, you get the fire going but have to open the door and windows. Those were the days.