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New Zealand Huts

New Zealand Huts are a great accommodation option when exploring some of the more remote locations in New Zealand. They are brilliant when the weather is great and a godsend when the weather is bad. There is nothing better than stripping off wet gear at the end of a cold rainy day and cranking up a nice warm fire! Many huts offer the ability to have a campfire which is a brilliant way to wind down after a hard day of riding. 

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The majority of the huts for adventure rider use are Department of Conservation (DOC) owned however there are a few privately owned huts you can also use.

DOC Hut Costs

There are a great number of DOC huts around New Zealand that are not vehicle accessible. The Great Walks huts for example are in this category. They mainly service hikers, cost anywhere from $22 to $70 per night, and have to be booked in advance. These huts are of little interest to adventure riders. 

The huts of interest to adventure riders are the vehicle accessible huts in the serviced, standard and basic categories. These huts range from no fee to $15 per night and you don’t have to prebook. You stay at these huts on a first come first served basis. 

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A typical standard category DOC hut located alongside a High Country lake.
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Nearly all DOC huts have wooden bunks with foam mattresses. General hut practice is to leave the mattresses upright like this photo to avoid mouse droppings on the top and condensation between the mattresses and bed base when not in use.
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A typical seating and kitchen area. Basic but practical. This one has a wetback hotwater setup and a shower however this is extremely rare.

Basic DOC Huts and Bivvies

The basic category of DOC huts often sees them located in really remote and outstanding places. It is important to note that these huts are very basic and rustic. Some of these huts will have fires and a table while others will simply provide beds and that’s it. In many cases they are draughty and you may have some mice to keep you company. They offer a raw and rustic experience of staying in remote places throughout New Zealand. 

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A typical basic category DOC hut located up a High Country valley.
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A typical basic category DOC bivvy.

How to Find DOC Huts

One of the easiest ways to find the vehicle accessible DOC huts is on RemoteMoto. It shows all of the huts plus all of the routes to access them. 

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View RemoteMoto

You can also use the DOC website for free to find huts: DOC website

Private Station Huts

Many of the private huts that are suitable for adventure riders were originally built for farming operations such as mustering or recreation such as hunting or fishing. Staying at private huts is generally more challenging to arrange than staying at DOC huts. Normally you'll arrange access to private huts when you arrange access to private land. 

The cost of private huts will normally be directly related to the conditions of access to the private land the huts reside on. The cost of a nights accommodation in a private hut can be anywhere from $10 to $50 per person per night in addition to the cost for land access. The price will mostly depend on the hut’s condition and if you get the hut exclusively.

Planning ahead is key to securing yourself a private hut as there are often waiting lists plus there are farming operations which can mean the huts are unavailable. 

It is worth noting that some of these huts will be in rustic condition. If you prefer comfy accommodation with hot running showers and all the conveniences then most of the huts in this category won’t be of interest to you. Many are just basic corrugated iron with a long-drop toilet. It is common for them to be draughty and have gap where four legged visitors can sneak in. I remember one night I was staying in a private hut where there were at least 10 mice in the hut. Throughout the night mice were doing their best to get into my food that I hung from the rafters. They made one hell of a noise with their attempts. To make things more interesting every now and then one would dash over the top of my sleeping bag. Most of the time mice are kept under control by the hut owners but it is not uncommon for them to periodically make an appearance.

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A private hut nestled at the foot of a mountain range on the cuff of a lake.
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Relaxing at a private hut after a hard day of riding.