Last Updated: 11th May 2024

Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Field Hut Frolic

Otaki, Wellington

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 11th May 2024

Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 33 ?

Gnarl Factor: 59 ?

12.1km

790m

790m

866m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Run Makeup

10%
60%
30%

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +15.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.2%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

4:00

Slow

3:00

Moderate

2:00

Fast

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

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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

Yes

No

Moderate.

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

BJ

Bryn Jenkins

has completed Field Hut Frolic twice in the last year.

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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

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