The Chris Jolly Owhaoko Wilderness Hut Escape

Escape from city life and stay in our mountain cabin. Te Whare Ruruhau means a place of shelter, refuge, and protection in Māori. Accessible only by air in the wilderness of Owhaoko. a series of rugged ranges in New Zealand’s Central Plateau. Our cabin is deeply private, enjoy it catered or self-catered with all modern and luxury amenities.

Trip Highlights

Enjoy the scenic backdrop of Owhaoko as you unwind in this very secluded escape. Indulge in a luxuriously large outdoor bath, or take in the constellations in the Nga Wheta Piata room.

What’s Provided

A kitchen, linens, transport to and from via helicopter. A full bathroom including continuous hot water, flush toilet, vanity, shower and luxurious towels. Two bedrooms, a central living space and an outdoor bathtub. The space is perfect for up to four people. Catering can be provided if required.

Transport and Timing

There is a two-night minimum stay (or three-night minimum stay on public holiday weekends). Transportation to Te Whare Ruruhau is helicopter only.

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Make your escape memorable in the rugged beauty of Te Whare Ruruhau

Owhaoko cabin at sunset nz escape

About Te Whare Ruruhau

The Owhaoko whenua (land) has nourished and provided for the people who lived and travelled through the area for hundreds of years. In the warmer months, Owhaoko land was traditionally used for foraging, fishing and hunting. However, the high plateau experienced harsh winters and did not invite year-round settlement.

Our cabin is nestled between the Kaweka and Kaimanawa forests, south-east of Lake Taupo, the rugged ranges stir awe and respect.  The cabin is 1,454m above sea level, and you’ll have 6,950 hectares of untouched natural beauty to yourself.

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Our Rooms

Te Whare Ruruhau starts with an open-plan central living space with kitchen, dining and lounge areas opening onto the covered porch and spacious decks.

The full bathroom features continuous hot water, flush toilet, vanity, shower and luxurious towels, then take a short stroll along the decking to bathe surrounded by the native bush and enjoy the view and exquisite privacy from the extra large bathtub.

With two bedrooms, you have a choice between Nga Whetu Piata, or Ahuru. Nga Whetu Piati translates to ‘the shining star’. This room is surrounded by glass walls and ceiling, perfect for  watching the stars and the sunrise over the native bush. Ahuru translates to ‘warm’. This cosy double bedroom with private deck is perfect for snuggling up in luxury to watch the sunset.

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Activities Near Te Whare Ruruhau

Take a nearby hike through native bush and the grasslands of alpine Aotearoa. Meander across the valley floors to find the perfect spot for a picnic surrounded by rare native wildflowers and birdsong. There are sixteen thousand acres of wilderness to explore full of unique indigenous plant life. Walking trails are managed for you to enjoy in the surrounding area.

In the warm months, the headwaters of the surrounding riverbeds make for the ultimate plunge pool experience. The riverbeds also teem with brown and rainbow trout, making Te Whare Ruruhau and incredible venue to get in some backcountry flyfishing. As well as fishing, this incredible region is ripe for sika deer hunting. We recommend using the cabin as base camp during the roar (late March to early May), or during the spring months.

Our Cabin Packages

Hosted Package: Don’t want to worry about a thing? Choose the hosted package. We ensure everything is taken care of including meals, lighting the fire, keeping the space tidy and assisting with your enjoyment of the land and cabin..

Ghost Host Package: Want the secluded feeling, but with a safety net? The ghost host package is the pinnacle of total privacy, with only meals being presented in person, and the added assurance of a host onsite should you require them.

Self-Hosted Package: Keen on bringing and cooking your favourite foods? Choose to self-cater and self-host! Everything edible aside from tea, coffee, salt and pepper will need to be flown in with you. All comfort amenities such as luxury linens and towels will be waiting for you at the cabin. Note, self-hosted is only available to New Zealand residents only.

Watch the sunset over the Kaimanawa Range, and finish off the day gathered around the cosy fireplace.

Owhaoko Hut bathtub

Experience Te Whare Ruruhau

Choose how you wish to spend your time in our paradise.

Enjoy a stunning sunrise over morning coffee on the balcony, curl up in the outdoor egg chair and listen to the burbling stream below, explore our pristine native alpine vistas by venturing along one of our nearby walking paths, fill the outdoor bathtub for two, watch the sunset over the Kaimanawa Range, and finish off the day gathered around the cosy fireplace.

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The luxury of total solitude – no roads, no people, no cell coverage, no stress. Just wild perfection.

Enjoy complete nature immersion at Te Whare Ruruhau.


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What We Offer

  • Private charter boats with catering/bar/fishing equipment and crew
  • Access to private land, water and know-how of local’s secret spaces
  • Functions, corporate events & team building

Reliable & Experienced

  • Over forty years in the central North Island tourism industry
  • We’re a family business, with local Taupō knowledge
  • Our staff are experienced adventure experts

Adventure Qualified

  • 5 Star Rated Gold Qualmark
  • Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guides
  • Trip Advisor’s Travellers Choice 2023
  • Partnered with Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Your Taupō Activity Partner

From beautiful lake views, to fishing crystal pools, to scenic hikes in the central North Island wilderness; Chris Jolly Outdoors are the go-to guides to tick off that bucket list.

In Taupō, the adventure possibilities are truly endless. We guarantee one thing – we’ll create a memorable experience for you that you’ll treasure forever.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book a trip with Chris Jolly Outdoors?

You can book a trip with Chris Jolly Outdoors by either calling us on +64 7 378 0623, emailing us at or filling out the form to make an enquiry. If you want to book a cruise to the Māori Rock carvings, head over to the experience page to book direct.

Do you have transport available?

Yes. Some of our trips include transfers but we can arrange helicopter or road transfers from anywhere in the country.  Our guided fishing adventures have heli transfer options, with our grounds being either a 90 minute drive or a 25 minute flight from Taupo CBD.

Are there any native birds around Taupō?

Tuī, pīwakawaka and korimako are amongst the beautiful birds that serenade lake Taupō’s verdant native bush. If you’re looking for a bird watching trip, let us know when you book!

Does it get cold in Taupō?

Taupō’s temperature can vary between lows of 0°C to highs of 15°C in winter, with icy winds coming straight off the Central Plateau mountains. It is best to pack woolly layers and definitely a wind/waterproof jacket. In summer, temps vary from lows of 10°C to highs of 30°C, so you’ll definitely need to bring water and sunscreen!

Does anything dangerous live in or around Lake Taupō?

No, Taupō, and New Zealand, in general does not have any native or imported predators. There are very small poisonous spiders called the whitetail and katipo, but a quick GP visit and some antibiotics after a bite and you’ll be right as rain.

What should I bring when hiking in Taupō?

The Essentials

  • Day pack with a waterproof liner
  • Drink bottle –  2 litres of water per day you will be out.
  • Packed lunch and snacks – if you are coming on a guided hike with us, we can cater your hike
  • Fully charged mobile phone ­
  • Personal medication, eg antihistamines, asthma inhalers
  • Extra base layer and socks
  • Rubbish bag
  • Map of the area you’ll be walking – if you are being guided you will not need this, we will direct you

Emergency equipment:

Our guides carry the following items

  • Basic first aid kit including hand sanitiser, sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Head torch/torch and spare batteries in case you take longer than intended
  • Survival blanket to keep you warm in an emergency
  • Whistle in case your split up or need help
  • Extra high energy snack food

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