Celebrating Matariki in the outdoors | Media Article
The new public holiday celebrating Matariki offers another opportunity to connect with the outdoors over a long weekend. We share our top locations for an overnight trip to celebrate Matariki while star-gazing.
This story was originally published on Stuff.co.nz | These top picks can be found and then planned in MSC’s Plan My Walk app. As June’s days are shorter and cooler, solid planning and packing of important gear makes for a successful adventure. Header photo: Camp Stream Hut, Amber Ledbrook
- Pinnacles Hut, Coromandel
The tramp to Pinnacles Hut on the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail is one of Aotearoa’s most popular, particularly with young families and first-time trampers. It’s location in the Coromandel means heavy rain and strong winds frequently make the track hazardous to attempt, so watch this safety video to help prepare.
- Mt Heale Hut, Aotea/Great Barrier Island
The Mt Heale hut can be accessed via a handful of tracks in the Aotea Conservation Park which leads you through a kauri forest, across boardwalks, and to the island’s summit and the hut. Known for its incredible sunrises, this hut is an amazing viewpoint for star gazing.
- Sunrise Hut, Ruahine Forest Park, Hawkes Bay
The Sunrise Track is an easy 2-3hour one-way walk (allow more time with children) to the Sunrise Hut. Implied in the name, this hut is a stargazing-sunrise enthusiast’s heaven.
- Pouakai Circuit, Taranaki
This 2-3 day tramp offers the best of the Taranaki region. The 25km track leads trampers through forest, alpine tussocks with spectacular views of Taranaki Maunga and the farmland below. Planning and preparation is especially important here as Taranaki Maunga is known for high winds, very fast-changing weather, total cloud cover and freezing conditions at any time of the year.
- Bushline Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park
With Bushline Hut perched on Mt Robert at the tree line, the track to it offers a good experience for families and beginner trampers.
- Kiwi Hut, Lake Sumner Forest Park, Canterbury
Follow the Harper Pass, which was the main pathway to and from the west coast for Māori when trading for pounamu (greenstone), to the cosy Kiwi Hut.
- Woolshed Creek Hut, Mt Somers Area, Canterbury
Following the miners track alongside the Woolshed Creek until the tracks climbs up to the summit before descending to the hut. This track is great for first-time trampers or families. The hut is set in tussock country surrounded by small hills great for exploring for panoramic views. Watch this safety video to help prepare.
- Green Lake Hut, Fiordland National Park
This southern Fiordland gem is located on the stunning Green Lake, and in an International Dark Sky Reserve means there are optimum star gazing opportunities.
- Hooker Hut, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
The 90-minute walk to the recently restored Hooker Hut follows the Hooker Valley Track and crosses two incredible swing bridges with views of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mueller Lake. Being near the country’s tallest mountain means the weather is very changeable, so check the latest details here.
- Learn more about Matariki | A glimpse into te ao Māori with a guest perspective from Kuruho
- Stay safe outdoors | Aotearoa’s tracks can differ dramatically and require different levels of fitness, equipment and planning, so it pays to do some research first before you hit the track. During the colder months, checking the weather up until departure, having a Plan B, and packing the appropriate clothing and gear are as important as ever. For more helpful guidance and free resources for planning an outdoor adventure explore our website.