Huts in the Orongorongo Valley have been used and enjoyed since the 1920s. They hold a special place in the hearts of thousands of people – owners, caretakers and their extended families and friends. They have provided a place to bring families together away from their busy lives; to get back to the basics without technology; to learn about nature and grow a love of the outdoors and to build close friendships in a unique community.
Thousands of people have been introduced to the outdoors for the first time through the huts network via friends, scouts or schools. For many, this experience was their only opportunity to access the outdoors and has sparked a life-long interest.
In 1978 the Orongorongo Club was established by a number of regular users of the valley who shared a common interest in the preservation of the valley’s unique heritage. The club particularly supports the continued presence of huts and their extended use.
The private huts are licenced until 2050 or the death of the current owners - many who are now in their 60s, 70s and 80s. There is currently no ability to transfer licences to children.
Without the private huts, the opportunities for everyday people to access the outdoors is greatly reduced with only the booked DOC huts left for the more confident and able.
Private hut users provide an important watchdog role with their presence in the valley. Their local knowledge has provided valued support to valley visitors via Search and Rescue efforts and assistance with river crossings.
The private huts are part of our heritage. There are few, if any, places in New Zealand where you will find over fifty private huts hidden amongst native bush – some dating back to the 1920s and 30s. They are a testimony to the enthusiastic young men who built them and the years of love and hard work that have kept them standing to be enjoyed by their children, grandchildren and thousands of others.
The club continues to campaign for the retention of the huts for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
If you would like to join the club or find out more please contact us:
Orongorongo Club Inc
PO Box 38-330
Wellington Mail Centre
Club members receive the Five Miler newsletter with information about upcoming events, conservation updates and valley history.
The club organises events in the valley each year including the Dawn Lahood Memorial Cup Golf Tournament and Kid’s Easter Moa Hunt Competition.
The Easter Kid’s Moa Hunt encourages kids to learn hunting, trapping and bush skills as well as conservation knowledge.
The club has restricted access to the valley by vehicle, for the servicing and maintainance of huts and transport of the elderly and disabled. The club has rules in place to reduce the impact of vehicle use on other valley users.