Only 5 more minutes


14 Nov 2021

The day Indians celebrated 2021 Independence day, I stood on the top of Ruahine Range, Sunrise Hut - 1280m high, in the mid eastern Ruahine Forest Park and watched the sun rise as some snow started falling from the other side of the mountains. It was simply EPIC!

If you had asked me 3years ago if I wanted to go and climb a mountain! I would’ve politely asked you to piss-off! But times have changed and I’ve been into hiking for the last few years. My friend had to use her diabetes card to make me go climb Mount Maunganui in the Bay of Plenty. Her words were ‘I am diabetic and want to do Mt. Everest Challenge and climb the mount 38 times in 50 days to improve my health, if you won’t do it, I will not do it either’. That’s how it all began.

I get a call from my friend and he says ‘It is going to snow this weekend, let’s go to Sunrise Hut!’ and obviously my answer was HELL YES! I didn’t have appropriate gear for snow hike but because the snow wasn’t going to be heavy, we decided to take our chances and go with our normal hiking gear any way. And when I asked my friend if I should at least get some hiking poles, his answer was ‘I’ll make you one from the forest, if needed’, and guess what, he did!

Weather forecast in New Zealand is as flaky as my diet plans, so even though the forecast had heavy rain on the day of our hike, I was hoping it will all be okay. As a matter of fact, it did turn out to be a pretty good day with some light showers as we went up the mountain. When I thought we were only 5 more minutes away from the hut, as it had started to get windy and extremely cold, thinking my apple watch distance was accurate, bumped into someone coming down from the hill who told us we had about 20mins to go still! Moral of the story do not trust your smart watch, they lie! We just made it to the hut before dark.

It started snowing that night and I went to bed early. I got up at 5am before my alarm went off. As I stepped outside to go to the long drop, I looked up and almost fell on the ground! The sky was SUPER clear and full of stars, it intimidated me. How marvellous I thought looking at the grand sky. I could see the Galactic plane, it was amazing. I ran back inside, woke my friend up, and went out to wait for the sunrise. That day was definitely the best sunrise I have seen in 2021. This hike is definitely worth the hype, I highly recommend it!

  • Now, few things you need to know about Sunrise hut
  • It is all uphill but the track is well made and easy to walk.
  • Depending on how good your knees are you can finish the whole trip (going up and down) in 3hours or longer. It took us 2hours 15mins with breaks to go up and 1hour 30mins to come down.
  • There is water in the hut but take your camping stove and pot with you. We used the top of fire place to boil water.
  • There are 20 bunks and depending on what season you go in, you may or may not be able to book them.
  • There are two long drops few steps away from the hut.
  • Now the main one, make sure you set an alarm for the sunrise, because you don’t want to miss the majestic sunrise!