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Trotters Gorge Hut | Kōkōmuka

Trotters Gorge Hut provides an ideal retreat for a quiet weekend of relaxation or study that is just an 1 hour drive from campus.

Trotters Gorge Hut is closed under Level 3 and 4.


Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve is considered to be of national importance being of considerable scientific interest botanically, geographically and entomologically. Certain plant and insect associations are unique. Bird watching is also of interest.Trotter Gorge Hut Image

Walks of varying intensity are also available within the reserve. A 5km circuit of the reserve perimeter, following the fence line gives good views of the coast. Alternatively, a walk downstream to the picnic ground, up on the south branch through native bush and out to the hilltops to return to the hut via the western perimeter gives a variety of scenery and terrain not often available in such a short distance. Allow 2–3 hrs for these walks.

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Trotters Gorge Scenic Reserve is located in the Waitaki County (North Otago) approximately 11km from Palmerston. The Trotters Gorge Picnic Ground is reached via Horse Range Road from State Highway 1 either from Palmerston or from the turn off 2 km south of Moeraki.

Access to the hut is by walking 1km along a closed vehicle track from the Trotters Gorge Picnic Ground (crossing shallow fords en route).

Take the path on the right that says "Trotters Creek Track --> 1.5km/30mins (River crossings - take care after heavy rain)

What way to walk to TG

Trotters Gorge Walk sign

Topo Map of Trotters Gorge Hut

Please be aware that the river can rise rapidly with rainfall and care should be taken. There is no vehicle access to the hut. All vehicles are prohibited from the scenic reserve and cannot be taken beyond the car park.

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The hut comprises of a main room with fireplace, a closed bunk room and an open porch with outside bunks. There are 20 mattresses and outside space for approximately six tents. The toilet block is situated about 20m from the hut. There is no electricity or tap water. Firewood can be purchased from Unipol reception for $7.50/bag (includes kindling), however is subject to availability. Otherwise please bring your own firewood if you would like to use the fireplace.

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Charges are on a per person per night basis.

Students/Staff (Tertiary only)
Public (Adults)
Children (<12 yrs)

Payment is required when collecting the key from Unipol Recreation. At this time a $20 bond is also paid. The bond is refunded when the key is returned on the due date.

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The hut is owned by the University of Otago and is administered by Unipol Recreation. Bookings need to be made in person by coming into Unipol Recreation Centre.  Payment must be made at the time of booking, we accept cash and eftpos (including credit). All enquiries can be directed to Unipol Recreation.  

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Accessing Farmland

During the lambing and calving season (Sept/Oct), as well as during droughts, walking on the adjacent farmland should not be planned. Throughout the rest of the year, if you are wanting to venture beyond the reserve boundary, permission must firstly be given by the landowner. Please contact Unipol Recreation Services for further information.

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Suggested Gear List when heading to Trotters Gorge Hut

  •  PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) – there is limited cell phone coverage in the area.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Good walking shoes – there are walking tracks in the area and the walk into the hut is approx. 15minutes.
  • Tent (if not sleeping inside)
  • Sleep bag and mat
  • Gas cooker
  • Gas
  • Billy/Pot/Pan
  • Cutlery
  • Head Torch/Lantern – there is no electricity.
  • Water – there is no running water.
  • Food
  • Rubbish Bags – please take all rubbish out with you.
  • Toilet paper – please use the toilet near the hut.
  • Firewood (if you would like to use the indoor fireplace). Please note: no outdoor fires allowed.
  • Extra socks - your feet might get wet crossing the stream.
  • Swimming gear – enjoy the water holes at the camp and along the track

Environmental Care Code

If permission is given from the landowner please follow the ‘Environmental Care Code’:

  • Protect plants and animals
  • Keep streams clean
  • Consider others
  • Keep to the track
  • Remove all rubbish
  • Light no fires
  • Respect our cultural heritage
  • Bury toilet waste
  • Leave gates as you find them
  • Toitu te whenua (leave the land undisturbed)

New Zealand Environmental Care Code (2013)