Mt Hutt Forest Methven Mt Hutt Guide NZ

Mt Hutt Forest

Mt Hutt Conservation Area takes in the upper catchments of Dry Creek and Pudding Hill Stream, and west to waterfall Creek. From the summit of Mt Hutt (2189m), the land falls steeply down to the Canterbury Plains. The bush is a small remnant of the forests that once extended over much of the plains. Mt Hutt Conservation Area and Pudding Hill Scenic Reserve are managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC). Awa Awa Rata Reserve is cared for by the Reserve Society and Ashburton District Council.

A network of walking tracks allows for exploration of the forest and ridges, with a number of circuit day-trips possible.

Mt Hutt Forest Walking Tracks

Rhododendron Walk

Distance: 505m, 10 minutes one way
Classification: Path/Short Walk
This pleasant walk from the Awa Awa Rata Reserve carpark follows a stream through native bush and rhododendron plantings.

Te Awa Awa Walk

Distance: 542m, 15 minutes one way
Classification: Path/Short Walk
This short walk starts in Awa Awa Rata Reserve and climbs gently through native bush before joining the end of the metalled road through the reserve.

Alder Track

Distance: 834m, 30 minutes one way
Classification: Walking Track
This track starts in Awa Awa Rata Reserve and goes through alder-covered flats at the base of the hill. It then climbs through a larch plantation to connect with the southern end of Ridge Track.

Opuke

Distance: 814m, 30 minutes one way
Classification: Walking Track
This track starts in Awa Awa Rata Reseve and climbs to the middle of the Ridge Track.

Ridge Track

Distance: 2.2km, 45 minutes one way
Classification: Easy Tramping Track
This track follows the ridge above Pudding Hill Stream and connects with Alder, Opuke and Scotts Saddle Tracks.

Scotts Saddle Track

Distance: 4.4km, 2 hours one way
Classification: Easy Tramping Track
This track starts from the car park in Awa Awa Rata Reserve and climbs steadily to connect with the northern end of the Scotts Track and then passes through beech/tawhairauriki forest before climbing to alpine herb and tussock/wi communities. The track then joins the Mt Hutt Skifield access road at Scotts Saddle. On a clear day there are good views from Scotts Saddle to pudding Hill Stream, Mt Hutt skifield, Canterbury plains and the Port Hills above Christchurch.

Pudding Hill Stream Route

Distance: 8.25km, 3 hours one way
Classification: Route
This route can be accessed from either Mt Hutt Skifield access road, the western end of Alder Track or from Harts Road. Pudding Hill Stream is negotiable in all but flood conditions. However, about 1 km upstream of the turn onto Mt Hutt Range the steam bed narrows into a steep-sided gorge, which makes further progress difficult.
Caution: This route involves repeated river crossings of Pudding Hill Stream, trampers should be prepared for cold, wet or windy conditions.

Loop Tracks

Loops can be made by combining tracks. A loop walk that takes 1 hour 30 min can be made by combining Opuke, Ridge and Alder tracks. A longer loop combining the first section of Scotts Track with Ridge and Alder tracks takes 1 hour 45 min. These loops can be walked in either direction.

Mt Hutt Forest Information & Map

  • Access points: The main access point for Mt Hutt Forest is via the Awa Awa Rata Reserve. The area can also be accessed from the Mt Hutt Ski Area access road at Scotts Saddle. Pudding Hill Stream Route can be reached via Hart Road.
  • Facilities: Picnic and barbeque facilities and toilets are available at Awa Awa Rata Reserve.
  • More information: Details on this page have been sourced from the Department of Conservation’s website and their Around and about Mid-Canterbury brochure which is available from the Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre.