Last Updated: 11th May 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Field Hut Frolic

Otaki, Wellington

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 11th May 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 33 ?

Gnarl Factor: 59 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +15.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.2%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







Not keen for the whole Southern Crossing? Or looking for something shorter? Its well worth lacing up and tackling the track to Field Hut and back, in itself a wonderful bush trail destination with some fairly decent vert to boot. Field Hut was built in 1924 by the Tararua Tramping Club, named after its then President, who was also the MP for Otaki for a while

Open tops await just beyond Field Hut and you may wish to extend the run by heading up over Table Top to Kime Hut. Beyond here you can follow the whole Southern Crossing- itself a route guide on the Trail Directory in its own right.

From the Carpark cross the Waiotauru swingbridge and head up on the river terraces. From here the trail is well marked and well formed, and climbs steadily for an hour or two, depending on your pace until you pop out to the historic hut just near the bushline. The map attached shows the route just to the hut, but if you have the time its well worth popping a few hundred meters further up in order to see the views, in the unlikely event that Tararua weather is playing ball!

Remember if venturing beyond the hut to take good gear, it can quickly turn to brutal conditions. However the described route to the hut and back can be tackled in any weather

Historic Field Hut
A taste of the Southern Crossing

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Take the Otaki Forks Road from the bridge at the main highway, its about 20km of windy mostly shingle road to the campground where you can park up and run to your hearts content.

18 km

24 minutes




Well marked to the hut, you shouldn't lose this trail. But do take a map.

Very patchy.

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

BYO but the hut has a water supply to top up with

Snow on tops in winter

If going beyond the described route not the Tararua's can be very stormy.

Otaki has plenty of options as the nearest town

Trail Legend


Bryn Jenkins

has completed Field Hut Frolic twice in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Field Hut Frolic

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

The dogs really enjoyed this one, especially the gnarly bush bit and the paddle in the river afterwards. Quite muddy in parts but to be expected in August in the Tararuas.

Richele McKenzie

August 10, 2019

Don't be fooled by the well graded track at the start, it soon turns into more classic gnarly Tararua trail. As out and backs go, a pretty nice one.

Helen Carrington

January 22, 2018

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

Mt Hector (From Otaki Forks)

Mt Hector (From Otaki Forks)

Length: 23.5km

Level: Intermediate

Arcus Loop Track

Arcus Loop Track

Length: 4.0km

Level: Beginner

Other trails nearby
Fenceline Loop

Fenceline Loop

Length: 5.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

South Main Range Loop

South Main Range Loop

Length: 47.0km

Level: Experienced

Goblins Gander

Goblins Gander

Length: 37.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Pakihore Ridge Loop

Pakihore Ridge Loop

Length: 33.0km

Level: Experienced

Find more trails and peaks nearby