Orange Hut in the Akatarawa Forest Park is a GWRC (Wellington Regional Council) hut. It sits in a clearing in a stand of mature conifers beside the Whakatikei River. The place has the feeling of a picnic area, given the large carpark and surronding pines. However, 4WD access has recently been limited to club trips only, though motorbike access is still possible with a permit.
The hut has burnt down at least twice, and the most recent incarnation is block on a concrete pad. That said it's clean (except for some graffiti). There are 4 bunks: 2 double, 2 single, with comfortable mattresses. There's a woodburner in the hut, and a flushing toilet nearby. Water is from the stream.
The previous hut site sits outside the front door, and has been cleverly tidied up to have a roof and 2 walls with poles supporting the other side: the woodburner and table intact - providing a good sheltered outdoor area with fire.
This hut is really more a mountain-bike destination than a trampers one. Several good 4wd tracks lead here from Paraparaumu, Pakakariki, Battle Hill, Upper Hut and the Akatarawa Road. All provide 10-15km rides in or out, and through trips are possible with train stations at either end. See 'Further Information' link for details of access.
Recommend the Wellington Regional Council map on that site in addition to a topomap. Tracks on the topomap are frequently overgrown or fictional.
|Facilities||Tank/tap water supply, Toilet, Enclosed wood/coal burner|