Alpha hut is managed by the Great Wellington Backcountry Network who have a management agreement with DOC for the upkeep of the hut.
The current Alpha hut was built in 1983 after the previous hut (Alpha 2) had burnt down. Alpha is located near the bush line of Mt Alpha. Alpha hut has one of the key huts on the Southern Crossing. The Southern Crossing is the most well known classic tramp in the Tararua range, and dates back to the early days of tramping in New Zealand when the first crossing of the Tararua range was the Hector track. The Tararua range is widely considered to be the Home of tramping in New Zealand.
The Southern Crossing has been the scene of a high number of tramping fatalities due to the exposure of the route to extremes in Tararua weather. Potentially dangerous weather conditions can occur at any time of the year, including summer. It always pays to be equipped to handle the most extreme of weather and also be prepared to abandon trip intentions if weather conditions are unsafe, or are forecast to be. To read more about this route, click the link below for the Tararua tramping Club description of this route .
Alpha hut. The hut was initially built to accommodate 10 persons overnight. Extensions undertaken by DOC provided for increased sleeping capacity to 20. (Photo Trippytramping)
Alpha hut 2. Built in 1953 by the Tararua Tramping Club . Forest Service deer culler Chris Peterson at Alpha. (Photo Paul Gush) Alpha 2 was built in a different location to Alpha 1, as the older hut was located just within the Hutt Water Supply catchment
Alpha Hut 1 was built in 1915. Mr W Workman constructed the 3 m x 4 m hut, with a dirt floor, from timber cut at the site, and from corrugated iron carried in by pack horse, all under contract to the Greytown track Committee. And that it was one year later in 1916 when there was the first recorded winter crossing of the Tararuas over Mt Alpha by F W Vosseler and others. Alpha was one of four huts built by the Otaki and Greytown hut committees during the development of the Hector track. The other huts were Top Tauherenikau (replaced by Cone hut) , the Hector Dog box (replaced by Kime hut), Field hut and te Moemoe. Read about the Huts of the Hector track here..
Photo below – Aplha hut No1. Framing was cut from the surrounding beech forest and corrugated iron and joinery was brought in by packhorse from Greytown. The 10-foot by 12-foot five bunk hut with an earth floor and two small windows would be considered crude by modern standards, yet its construction was a tremendous achievement. As the first Alpine hut in the Tararua mountains it offered shelter on the exposed tops and quickly proved its value in bad weather