Dense native bush, open views & a very blue hut
There are 45 huts in the Tararua Forest Park, and Blue Range Hut has to be one of my all-time favourites. This Adventure combines panoramic views with beautiful podocarp bush and a unique hut plastered in old hospital signs from Masterton (“Do not enter while surgery is in progress!”). The Tararua Range is perfect for those wanting to experience our mystical and dense NZ forest that’s bustling with nature.
This Adventure combines a few of the best backcountry elements, including:
- Information on conservation efforts in the region (and how you can help).
- Beautiful views of the surrounding hills and mountains.
- A traditional Kiwi hut with character.
- Native wildlife spotting.
- A good day of physical activity suitable for all experiences.
My Bushdog Coda will join us on the hike, always up for a pat and excited to show you her home. In my experience, every trip gets better with a curious border collie at your side. Some lucky visitors have also spotted Kaka from the wildlife centre close by – maybe you will, too!
Coda and I spend much of our time in these forests and help to maintain the conservation efforts in the area. You can follow us and check out more views on my Instagram here.
I am Emma and if you want a true NZ bush experience and education, I’m your person. Native New Zealand bush is my passion, I know it well. I work protecting our native plants and animals from introduced pests and believe education is the key. Join myself and my amazing canine sidekick, Coda, on a backcountry adventure in the ranges we call home. My aim is to support and guide people into areas of the New Zealand bush that wouldn’t otherwise be easily accessible to them. I want to share the landscapes, flora and fauna of my most cherished places to those who want to know them also. My canine companion, Coda is well behaved, friendly, an excellent track finder and loves having her photo taken with people! I work and volunteer in pest control, helping to control introduced predators and know many of the best places you can see some of this country's rare birds and plants. Meeting new people and passing on my enthusiasm for the bush is one of my favourite things, I’d love to have you walk with me.
- Extensive knowledge of the Tararua Range and NZ bush.
- Mother of 4 children.
- Strong experience in taking out families for overnight stays in huts and easy hikes.
- Qualified veterinary nurse.
What I've got planned for you
We can meet around Palmerston North or at the start of the track, whatever works best for you. Either way, you’ll get to know my partner in crime, Bushdog Coda, an award-winning Border Collie sponsored by Further Faster NZ. She’s well trained and always excited to meet new people. Let’s hope we can keep up with her while she guides us through her home ranges. Being a Collie, she is very fit and active.
The track starts with a steep climb until we reach a lookout on top of the hill. Be prepared for stunning views over the Tararua Ranges along the way. I can tell you something about every mountain you see from here, including the impressive Mitre peak at 1571m. Over the years, Coda and I have explored almost every track there is in the park, including some unmarked ones deep in the bush.
Once we’ve reached Blue Range Hut, it’s time for lunch with the views right in front of us. We’ll have time to explore the area and watch Coda tree climbing before we head back down.
A perfect day trip for solo-travellers and big groups alike, showing you the best my Tararua Range has to offer!
All tours require the proper gear to ensure you’re having the time of your life, and are well prepared if things go south. It’s the real and rugged New Zealand out there!
750ML Water Bottle
Sunscreen & hat
Top Base layer
Torch & Batteries
Warm hat & gloves (March to October)
Cutlery & cup
Lighter / Matches
Personal First Aid Kit
There are add-on extras for this tour. These are the little things that’ll either make your Adventure easier to organise or more rugged - your choice. You can add these during the booking process.
Bushdog Coda along for the trip
No hike is the same without a Bushdog! Select this option to explore together with Coda, my furry companion and well-trained Border Collie.Free
Set up a trap
Conservation efforts in the Tararuas are absolutely vital to maintain its original ecosystem. Every little bit helps and goes a long way - introduced predators are the main threat to our native wildlife. If you can, donate a trap now and we'll have it ready to be placed by the time you're here. It will be connected to your Visitor ID so you can keep updated on how well it's doing!+ $145 NZD
Q & A
Your Bushman has added a couple of answers to questions other Visitors have asked in the past to help you with your booking plans. Once you book a tour, you'll be in direct contact with your Bushman for more support.
Is this suitable for children?
Definitely! The track starts with a steep climb, but children are frequently seen here and after reaching the top of the hill, it’s a leisurely walk to the hut. A great place for kids to explore. I’m a mum of 5 myself and Coda is well-trained and patient, always a good entertainer for young and old.
Do I need hiking boots or can I do this in trainers?
We always ask Visitors to bring proper hiking boots just in case it has been raining the past day, as tracks tend to get quite muddy. However, these days you can also get sports shoes with good grip or trail shoes. Just message me if you’re unsure. (No light shoes or sandals!)
I don’t have any experience with dogs. Will I be alright around Coda?
Coda is a well-trained show dog. She will listen to me and follow my instructions well. I’ve found that people really love watching her climb up seemingly impossible cliffs and up onto mountains. If you’re not sure, she will keep to herself.
Here’s a few answers to the more general questions about the whole journey. You can visit our help and support area for any further information or contact us via the chat function.
What is the refund and cancellation policy?
Bushman Tours sets a standard cancellation policy that can be found via our Terms & Conditions. This is globally set at 48 hours notice. However, Bushmen may add to this depending on the requirements for the Adventure (e.g. - hiring gear and renting equipment on your behalf). The final policy will be located at the bottom of the checkout, or you can reach out to us to check.
What happens if the tour is cancelled due to weather?
In most cases, the Bushman can arrange another day to run your tour, but this also comes down to when you're available if travelling through New Zealand. We recommend ensuring you have insurance for cancellation of any tours. If the Bushman has to cancel due to a health risk, we will call you to arrange another option.
What gear do I need?
Although we have a minimum requirement of gear, you will need the right equipment and gear that is relevant to the Adventure you're booking. This is usually found at the bottom of each tour page, but for our minimum, please visit our FAQs & blog page.
Can I hire gear/equipment?
In some circumstances, your Bushman will have equipment for you to hire. This is available to browse and book through the checkout. We may also have options through our checkout. Although you may be able to borrow gear during the tour, it's important to reserve it now.
What food shall I bring?
Depending on the length, this can vary. Your Bushman will advise on the tour page what is recommended for this particular Adventure, but typically, what we offer at checkout via the add-ons section is what you'll need. Keep it lightweight and nutritious if you buy your own.
Where do I meet my Bushman?
We always try to pick the closest iSite (Visitor Centre) to your Adventure's location. Instructions on precisely where to meet are sent after the booking is made. However, you can also message your Bushman and arrange another location as long as it's close enough to the region.
How much extra is it to add family/friends onto the booking?
If you book and find that more people want to come with you, we can arrange to add them onto the booking (this is dependant on the Bushman's preference to the number of people to take out). The more that book on the original checkout option, the cheaper the fee for each individual - so spread the word before you go to book! Please note, you cannot add or bring extra people 48 hours before the tour starts.
Can I talk to my Bushman before the Adventure?
Absolutely! Once you book, you will be able to login and chat directly to your Bushman through a private, secure chat. Here you can arrange some extras you would like to do, timings for pick up and much more.
Need more help?
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