Last Updated: 30th Oct 2023


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Fenella Hut

Takaka, Tasman

Submitted by Stu Houston

Last Updated: 30th Oct 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 38 ?

Gnarl Factor: 34 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +4.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -4.9%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the Trilobite Hut carpark follow the Cobb Valley track - this is a DOC tramping track and is well benched , graded and marked all the way to Fenella Hut. Evenly spaced along the Valley are Chaffeys Hut and Tent Camp for a stop and bite to eat and to read the history behind these buildings.

Just before the final climb to Fenella hut you come to Cobb Hut. Here there is a lovely side trip to Cobb Lake which is nestled in the mountains and a nice camp site too. Fenella hut is a large 12 bunk hut in a lovely spot. If it's a hot day walk 100 metres to the Tarn for a dip. Return is the same way you came.

If you wanted an overnight adventure camp at Cobb lake (or stay in Fenella or Cobb huts) and climb up the Cobb Lake Track to Round Lake then up to the low saddle above for a fanastic view of Island lake and the Tasman Wilderness Area of Kahurangi National Park. This adds about 8 kms to the trip. The track is undulating all the way to the tent camp then climbs steadily to Fenella Hut.

Subalpine valley - the track follows the Cobb River into its headwater. You run through a mix of open grass meadows which are covered in alpine plants (oh yes this valley can get very cold ) and beech forest. You pass the recently restored Chaffeys Hut and the fabulous 2 berth tent camp (you will want to come back to this valley to stay be warned !!) Then the stunning mountain scenery at the head of the valley at Fenella Hut.

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No public transport into Cobb.large parking area and nice DOC campsite 250 metres away. Carpark is safe.

55 km

80 minutes




The track is well maintained and marked but take a map anyway.


Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

There are streams all the way along the track - the water is clean and pure.

In winter snow will cover the Cobb Road and is dangerous don't attempt to go in if you strike snow on the hill in unless you have 4x4 AND chains. DON'T rely on your 4x4 and its tyres - this road is really dangerous and doesn't get graded , gritted or snow cleared.

Alpine area so take spare clothes and a plb etc. This may be in sunny Tasman but it can be 25 degrees in Motueka or Takaka and 5 degrees in the Cobb (it can also be 30 in the Cobb !!) Come prepared year round. High wasp numbers in summer.

wholemeal cafe
Coz its the best in Town.

All other cafes in Takaka

Woolshed Cafe
On Takaka Hill just off on Canaan road
Real nice place

Trail Legend


Debbi Bamfield

has completed Fenella Hut twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Stunning valley with such a variety of plant life from meadows, beech forest, Manuka with ferns, sub alpine lichen dripping stunted trees. The historic huts were an absolute highlight. Admit it is a long drive in and did this as an overnight tramp to explore the area beyond fenella hut but there is a doc hut and a campsite right at the end of the road if you wanted to base yourself there for a number of day runs in the area.

Rebecca Sunderland

January 4, 2023

Long drive in for a mediocre trail. Some nice views up and down the valley. But the best part are past the hut. If heading in for this trail I’d recommend staying a few days and exploring the other trail too.

Lauren Mai Anderson

December 10, 2021

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