The Chris Jolly Owhaoko Wilderness Hut Escape

Escape from city life and stay in our mountain cabin Te Whare Ruruhau translated from Maori means, a place of shelter, refuge, and protection). Accessible only by air in the wilderness of Owhaoko, our cabin is deeply private, enjoy it catered or self-catered with all modern and luxury amenities.

Trip Highlights

Our Te Whare Ruruhau cabin is located in Owhaoko, a series of rugged ranges in New Zealand’s Central Plateau and the view is breathtaking.

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.

Transport and Timing:

There is a two-night minimum and there can be between one and four guests with optional private catering. Transportation is Helicopter only.

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Make your escape memorable with Te Whare Ruruhau

Owhaoko cabin at sunset nz escape

About Te Whare Ruruhau

Owhaoko Whenua (land) has nourished and provided for the people who lived and travelled through the area for hundreds of years. Our Cabin is nestled between the Kaweka and Kaimanawa national forests, south-east of Lake Taupo, the rugged ranges stir awe and respect. The first suggested package we will be offering at the lodge will be a 24-hour hiking stay. This will include a full day hike, or alternatively two half-day hikes. This will be one of the premium hosted hiking packages in New Zealand with the relationship between The Chris Jolly Team rooted in shared experiences and a long-standing love of the outdoors.

Price on Application click here to enquire.

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How will you spend your downtime? How about in a shining star room?

Available Activities Near Your Cabin Escape

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. In the warm months, the headwaters of the surrounding riverbeds make for the ultimate plunge pool experience. 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.

Additional activities:

Fly in fly out base for backcountry flyfishing and Sika deer hunting

Fly in for a full day hike and use the cabin as a lunch location

Bird watching Hikes available for native tui and fantails.

Cabin Package Choices


A hosted package is exclusively created for you by our partners at Chris Jolly Outdoors.  They will ensure everything is taken care of including meals, lighting the fire, keeping the space tidy and (upon request) sharing stories from the Owhaoko people and their land.

Our self-catered package is self-hosted and available to New Zealand residents only. 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.

The Ghost Host package, total privacy with only meals being presented in person, and the added assurance of a host onsite should you require them.

Te Whare Ruruhau Cabin Layout

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. There are two double bedrooms, with every room positioned towards an amazing view.

Nga Whetu Piata is the shining star room. Surrounded by glass walls and ceiling, it is perfect for watching the stars and the sunrise over the native bush.

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.

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

valley and hills in owhaoko


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.

For the evening you have a choice between settling into the Āhuru bedroom, a warm, cosy sanctuary, or the Nga Whetu Piata bedroom which is total surround glass – lie in bed and gaze at the stars while you fall asleep.

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Leaving the land better than when we came to it
Owhaoko Hut bathtub


A hosted package is exclusively created for you by our partners at Chris Jolly Outdoors.  They will ensure everything is taken care of – from meals, lighting the fire, keeping the space tidy and sharing stories from Owhaoko people and the land.  Perfect for a relaxing escape.

Our self catered package is also self-hosted, and available to New Zealand residents only.

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Reconnect. Allow a moment for your soul to catch up with you, find your balance again

Journey to enjoy complete nature immersion. No roads, no people, no stress. Just wild perfection. Click here to start the journey towards booking your stay.


The Cruise To Plant Project

Chris Jolly Outdoors is committed to planting trees in an effort to protect and enhance Aotearoa’s natural environment. All passengers on Chris Jolly Outdoors scenic cruises will have a dollar from their ticket price go towards the planting project with The Opepe Farm Trust. This is one of the first planting initiatives for Chris Jolly with the future goals being to offset the boat charter service and to become carbon neutral. The partnership with The Opepe Farm Trust will help to ensure that the right trees are planted for sustainability. The Trust is passionate about protecting the environment for future generations and has the knowledge and expertise to guide the project. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against climate change and help to preserve our natural environment.

Have a closer look at our initiative

Your Taupō Activity Partner

As the trusted activity partner for things to do in Taupō for forty years, Chris Jolly Outdoors will take care of you during your stay here.  From absolute relaxation and fishing crystal pools to exciting hikes in the wilderness; we are the go-to guides to tick off that bucket list.

In Taupō, the possibilities are truly endless. But one thing is sure; we will create a memorable experience for you that you’ll treasure forever.  Put yourself in the picture with us, and book with us today.

More about us

What We Offer

  • Five private charter boats for small or large functions up to 140 pax with full catering/bar/fishing equipment and an exclusive personal crew
  • Access to private land, water and know-how of local’s secret spaces
  • Corporate events & team building.

Reliable and Experienced

  • We’re a family headed by Chris’s son Simon Jolly with a number of the Jolly clan still working within the team
  • We’re a bunch of fishing, hiking, boating, biking, and bush experts with experienced staff who can teach you a lot about the Taupō region.
  • We’ve spent forty years in the industry taking care of people’s holidays.

Our Qualifications

  • Gold Qualmark rated (5 star rating NZ)
  • Our Fly fishing guides are Orvis endorsed, a globally recognised mark of excellence
  • Partners with Ngāti Tūwharetoa (TMGH) with a focus on growing Māori Tourism for Taupō


What clothing is best for hiking, hunting, fishing or being outdoors in Taupō?

Conditions are changeable in Taupō, so it's best to be prepared! The local's joke that Taupō can have four seasons in a day!

  • Hiking boots with good ankle support and grip, or other sturdy footwear
  • Sun hat or warm beanie – pack one and wear the other (we lose 70% of heat through our heads alone!)
  • Sunglasses – wear or pack, NZ has harsh sunlight.
  • Base layer: top and leggings in polypropylene/wool, quick dry shorts or pants
  • Mid layer: long-sleeved top in wool or polar fleece – wear or pack depending on the weather
  • Gloves in polypropylene/wool – wear or pack, only in Winter really.
  • Socks in polypropylene or wool ( a spare pair is always a good idea)

A good exterior layer:

  • Wind and waterproof jacket with hood – wear or pack depending on the weather
  • Waterproof overtrousers optional

I’m planning on going hiking while in Taupō, what should I bring?

The Essentials

  • Day pack with a waterproof liner (no one likes wet clothes)
  • Drink bottle –  2 litre, per day you will be out.
  • Packed lunch and snacks – if you are coming on a guided hike with us here at Chris Jolly Outdoors  we can cater your hike
  • Fully charged mobile phone ­
  • Personal medication, eg antihistamines, asthma medication
  • 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:

if you are coming on a guided hike with us here at Chris Jolly Outdoors we will make sure to have the following list on hand.
  • 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

Are there any native birds around Taupō?

Tui, Fantail and wax eyes are amongst the beautiful birdsong that serenades lake Taupō's verdant native bush.

Contact Us

in New Zealand

phone Icon073780623

from overseas

phone Icon+64 7 378 0623

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