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Hiking New Zealand: The Route to the Best Backcountry Hut in the World

New Zealand's Ivory Lake Hut is a true gem. All you have to do is get there. Check out these stunning photos from the route.


New Zealand - Hage - canopy

Senior Backpacker Editor Rachel Zurer is enthralled by the dense canopy of vegetation that will be negotiated in order to arrive at the Dickie Spur Hut, the final destination for the day. [photo: HagePhoto]

New Zealand - Hage - bridges

Swing bridges are always a little sporty learning how to time your steps as its sways; this one over the Tuke River is no different. [photo: HagePhoto]

New Zealand - Hage - Dickie Spur Hut

Once above tree-line travel is no easier with long grass of tussocks that keep you on your toes. Backpackers climb above the Dickie Spur Hut to access the Dickie Ridge enroute to the Top Waitaha Hut. [photo: HagePhoto]

New Zealand - Hage - Top Waitaha Hut

Senior Editor Rachel Zurer scrambles up the exposed loose rock that makes up most of Dickie Ridge. Navigating this ridge is not for the faint hearted; one must have confidence and sure footing in order to successfully complete this ridge to the Top Waitaha Hut. [photo: HagePhoto]

New Zealand - Hage - cooking

New Zealand local Andrew Buglass prefers cooking over a fire with his billy at the Top Waitaha Hut. [photo: HagePhoto]

New Zealand - Hage - Ivory Lake Hut

Local Andrew Buglass checks out the beauty of the Tuke River canyon and its water before making his way back up the ridge towards the Dickie Spur Hut to complete the circuit to the Ivory Lake Hut. [photo: HagePhoto]

New Zealand - Hage - scramble

The trek out was just as challenging as the trek in with long ridges of exposed crumbly loose rocks. New Zealand local Andrew Buglass offers up a boot belay during a short scramble of a notorious problematic section out to the Top Tuke Hut. [photo: HagePhoto]

New Zealand - Hage - Ivory Lake Hut

Final destination: Ivory Lake Hut, the best hut in the world. And with over 1000+ huts to choose from just in New Zealand alone, that’s no easy feat. [photo: HagePhoto]

New Zealand - Hage - rachel zurer

Senior Editor Rachel Zurer dives into the decades of log books the Ivory Lake Hut has to offer to find out more about the history of this extraordinary hut and its location. [photo: HagePhoto]

New Zealand - Hage - relaxing at hut

Backpackers celebrate by enjoying the view from the Ivory Lake Hut. Three strenuous days of trekking have brought us to the “Best Hut in the World”. [photo: HagePhoto]

Senior content editor Rachel Zurer wrote about finding New Zealand’s Ivory Lake Hut in January 2015. Above, see more photos from the route courtesy of adventure photographers Matt & Agnes Hage. Check out more of their work at http://hagephoto.com.