This page provides some of the history of the backcountry recreational use of the forest parks in the Wellington region.

Surveyors began completing crossings of the Tararua range in the 1860s and in 1865 renowned surveyor Morgan Carkeek commenced a long career of surveying the range. Surveyors began making crossings of the range in the 1870s.

The first backcountry hut in the region was at Smiths Creek was built. In 1904 the first Totara Flats hut was built, by the Public Works Department and in 1909 the first private hut was built by Sayer at Totara Flats also.

The first tramping Club established in New Zealand was the Tararua Tramping Club (TTC) in 1919. The club members recently celebrated 100 years of tramping. The first backcountry hut (Field hut)built for tramping was also built by the TTC. By the 1930s, many of the core huts and tramping tracks in the range had been built.

In 1931, the Internal Affairs department had begun deer culling operations, mainly using temporary camps and tramping huts. Several access tracks in remote areas were cut.

To read the Chronology of the Tararua and Remutaka forest parks by Geoff Kerr h