We have been wanting to go to some of the huts in the Rimutaka forest park for years now and finally decided to book one for a weekend break. The huts in the Rimutaka’s have to be booked in advanced and are for sole occupancy only, so when booking, you need to book the whole hut.
We decided to book in at the smallest of the huts which was Boar inn, as it was the cheapest and slept just 4 people (rather than 8 or 10 plus which is what the other huts slept).
The day finally arrived when we were booked in at the hut, we didn’t set off till 3pm on the trail as it’s only about a 6km walk to the hut from the Catchpool Car park.
We set off on the Orongorongo track which is a nice pleasant track suitable for all abilities and families with all rivers and streams bridged. There are several other tracks leading off this main track which head up onto the surrounding hills on either side.
|River running beside Orongorongo track|
|The Orongorongo track|
After just under 5km, we got to the end of the track which is marked by an arched bridge across a side river. To get to the river you need to follow the path a bit further till you get to a right hand downhill path where you will find toilets.
It was at this point we changed out of our hiking shoes and put on some crocs. This was because we wanted to try keep some dry shoes for the hut and the return walk back to the car.
You need to follow the river downstream for about 1km, crossing over several times before you see the Orange marker and a sign for Boar inn.
On a nicer sunny day there are a few swimming holes which would be great to swim and play in, but unfortunately it was raining on and off while we are walking.
Once you see the sign for Boar inn, you need to cross the river once more before climbing up the bank to the hut. There are several entry/exit points to the hut, the easiest being 100m after the initial sign for the hut (where you will see another sign and Orange arrow).
|Easiest exit point from the river to the hut|
The hut is an old style corrugated iron and concrete hut nestled in the trees with a long drop toilet just a short walk away and a wood store. You need a code to enter the hut, which you will be provided via email before your stay.
The hut is fairly dark even during the day, but this is due to how closed in the trees are and the fact there is only 1 window. The hut is very tidy though and well stocked with plates, cutlery, pots, pans, toilet roll and cleaning products.
We didn’t end up staying in the hut for the night, because after about an hour there, we saw a large mouse walk in under the large gap under the front door and walk straight to the poison bait station which was tired to the base of the bed. We didn’t fancy staying and having to deal with mice all night scurrying under our heads, going through our bags looking for food and possibly running over us on the bunks.
When we looked to see what time it was, we saw it was 5pm and we still had 3 hours till the gates closed to the main Carpark (it took us 1 hour 50 mins to get to the hut, but we weren’t rushing), so we still had time to get back to the car before we were locked in the park.
We quickly packed up our stuff (hoping the mouse hadn’t already got into our bags), and headed out along the river towards the main track. The rain had got a lot heavier in the time we were at the hut, so we got pretty wet even with rain jackets on, esp with all the river crossings.
We managed to walk back to the car from the hut in 1 hour 20 mins, so got back with plenty of time to change into dry clothes before driving home.
The trip wasn’t what we had hoped it would be like and the hut was a bit of a disappointment, esp after all the years we had been wanting to go there. We have been to quite a few DOC backcountry huts in the Tararua’s over the last 6 months and they have all been in better quality than the Boar inn, which was surprising as we had to pay more to stay at Boar inn and it was so close to Wellington, we thought it would be better quality and not have the huge gaping hole under the door for rats and mice to just stroll in without too much bother.
In the past, we have walked past a few of the other huts in the Rimutaka park while doing a day hikes, and these have all seemed to be in way better condition than Boar inn, which makes me think it is possibly one of the older hut in the park and should really be rebuilt or renovated to improve the conditions.
But overall, it was definitely an experience and made us realise how good the DOC backcountry huts are.