Ballard Hut Loop

Kaweka Forest Park

  • 2 days loop track
  • Medium

A two day walk including open tops and Beach forest to visit a pleasant hut in the Kaweka forest park.

Cairn at turnoff to ballard hut • By bigpaul. Licence: cc by.
Ballard Hut Loop: Key information
Walking time
2 days
12 hr – 16 hr
Loop track
Loop track
Very exposed on top and can get insanely windy Grades explained
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Ballard Hut Loop: Find it
Makahu Saddle Carpark
Markahu Saddle Carpark
500m – 1,724m
Altitude change 1,224m
Day/1 Markahu Saddle Carpark to Dominie Biv 1 hour Dominie biv to Kaweka J 1 hour There is a 6 bunk hut 2 mins from the carpark that allows for a late night arrival and an early morning start. The climb to Kaweka j is a little continuos all above the bushline and exposed we did the climb in 2.5hours with a short stop at Dominie biv.On a fine day the views up here are spectacular but on a bad day its hell and turns quite quickly. Kaweka J to Whetu 2 hours Whetu to Ballard Hut 45 mins Open tops travel the entire way the poled route is easy enough to follow in clear weather but would be difficult in poor weather. The turn off to ballard is clearly marked with the addition of a rather large cairn. We did this in 3.5 hours. Ballard hut is at the bottom of a steep descent and is screened from view at any distance in a grove of mountain beech. A Tidy 4 bunk hut with fire and water its popular with hunters who seem to prefer flying in. Room to put up a tent if you prefer. Day/2 Ballard Hut to Whetu 1 hour (a nice short climb to start the day) Whetu to middle hill hut/ kaweka flats track junction 1.5 hours Poled route above the bush line then a well marked track through beech forest. on a fine day the views continue you can see most of the North island from here. Middle hill track junction to Kaweka Flats Biv 3.5 hours This track is well marked and cleared meanders across the foot of Kaweka with a couple of short sharp climbs in and out of river valleys the bush slowly turning to Manuka as you approach Kaweka flats. Kaweka Flats Biv to Makahu Saddle 1.5 hours Continuation of the same type of track reasonably benched it goes directly up river fot about 300 meters at one point but well marked. We did day 2 in 9 hours rather than the 6 to 7 hours posted times its my humble opinion that the track times especially in the Kawekas have been set by a greyhound on a fine summers day. the average tramper should probably add 15 mins an hour to the suggested times on the park maps. The open tops here are very exposed especially to high winds so it would be adviseable to allow extra time in your thinking. Having said all that its the best place in the world on a fine day.
ID 5478

About this track

Added 6 June 2010 by bigpaulbigpaul. 3 revisions, most recently 24 June 2012 by bigpaulbigpaul.
66 views in the past year (6 per month).