Field Hut FrolicIntermediate
Submitted by Tony Sharpe
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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
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Features of interest
Historic Field Hut
A taste of the Southern Crossing
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 30%
Moderate Single Track: 60%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Otaki Forks camping area
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.
Well marked to the hut, you shouldn't lose this trail. But do take a map.
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.
Post run indulgence
Otaki has plenty of options as the nearest town
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