Access There is a car park at Comet Hut at the end of Komata Road
Time 2-4hr to the hut
Accommondation Shutes Hut has four bunks
Historic Shutes Hut was built in 1920 as a backcountry mustering hut for Big Hill Station. It is not hard to imagine the sheep country back then, as even now the trees have not totally reclaimed the pasture.
From Comet Hut, a surprisingly tidy roadend hut, a steep, loose and stony track ascends through the pine towards Komata Peak (1083m).
After this high point, strike out across the ridge and begin the long descent – around 600m - to the Taruarau River. Once out of the pine trees, low scrub gives good views up the Taruarau and across to the northern Ruahine ranges.
The Taruarau is cool and inviting for a dip after the long descent. In low flows the crossing is easy – but would be challenging if the river was up.
Regain the track on the other side and climb through the manuka that is reclaiming the grass. Shortly after you’ll arrive at the four-bunk hut.