The Matiri Valley is at the southern end of the Kahurangi National Park and is accessed from S/H 6, about 6kms north of Murchison. The landforms around this area are spectacular as a result of landslides and lakes formed behind rubble dams following earthquakes in this region.
The carpark is at the roadend, about 16kms up the valley from there is takes 3 hrs to walk to the hut. However, if you have a 4WD, you can get as far as the West Branch of the Matiri River and the walk is only 1.5 hrs.
Check weather conditions before departure as you have to cross this river – yes, you start off with wet feet!
The walk takes you across farmland for a short distance before entering the forest. The track is good but can be wet at times, the gradient is not too strenuous – this could be described as a moderate walk.
Apart from the many beech species, there are also rata, kamahi, totara, broadleaf, neinei and mountain cedar.
The view of Lake Matiri from the Hut is delightful and it only takes a few minutes to walk down to the lake.
If the weather is nice and hot, a dip into one of the many streams that feed the lake is delightful. Several birds species nest around the lake. Enjoy a picnic lunch or a brew-up in the hut before heading back down the track.
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