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Trotters Gorge Hut

Trotters Gorge Hut provides an ideal retreat for a quiet weekend of relaxation or study that is just a 45 minute drive from campus.


Photo of Trotters Gorge HutTrotters 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.

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 tract from the Trotters Gorge Picnic Ground (crossing shallow fords en route).

Please be aware that the river can rise rapidly with rainfall and care should be taken. There is no vechicle 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.

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Charges are on a per person per night basis.

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

An additional $15.00/night firewood levy is charged for all bookings made.
Payment is required when collecting the key from Unipol Recreation Services. At this time a $20.00 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 Recreation Services. All enquiries should be directed to Unipol Recreation Services.

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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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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)