This hut is managed by the Masterton Tramping club (MTC)
The hut was built during 1957 and 1958 by members of the newly formed Masterton Tramping Club, and staff from the NZ Forest Service. The Club organized a trip at fortnightly intervals for 18 months to carry the materials up, with regular races to see how many return trips could be made in one day, it is nearly a 700 metre climb. The Hut was opened by Mr. D.Blythe (NZFS) and Ted Esler, an early member of the Club, on Sunday 9th November 1958. Forestry worker Bob McNabb did much of the building work in his own time. When the hut was completed it had bunk accommodation for 4.About 60 trampers from clubs in Wellington, the Hutt Valley and Levin attended the opening on Sunday 9 November 1958. One club newsletter reported,
‘The hut itself is small, but of solid construction, the interior is matchlined and sleeps six. It is the only hut in the Tararuas with hot and cold water on tap. The hut is situated on the end of the Blue Range and commands a good view of the northern Tararuas and Ruamahanga Valley. This little haven is reached in two hours from the end of Kiriwhakapapa Road, which is twelve miles north of Masterton.’
In 1971 at the clubs AGM: John Welch moved a motion to transfer the ownership of the Blue Range hut to Rathkeale College. Rathkeale College thanked MTC and maintained the hut until 1991 when the College no longer had a Tramping club and then returned it back to MTC. (MTC archives)
Blue range hut.
MTC members on a trip to Blue Range hut 2021
Working party at Blue Range hut 1958 (Photo Masterton TC)
Materials for the hut were carted up on foot (Photo MTC)