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Leaning Lodge

Leaning Lodge is located on the Rock and Pillar Range in the Rock and Pillar Conservation Area and is one of two huts on the mountain. It was built by the Otago Ski Club in 1958 as part of an attempt to develop a skifield on the Rock and Pillar Range (see Castle Rock Ski Field). In the 1970s it was bought by the Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club and in 1975 "Leaning Lodge" was officially accepted as the name for the hut the club was busy renovating. The hut gets its name from the angle of the floors due to subsidence of its foundations.

The Leaning Lodge Trust was formed in 2006 for the purpose of either bringing the existing Leaning Lodge hut up to standard or replacing it. Since the trust was formed, it has tidied up around the existing hut, provided a new toilet and pre-constructed some of the framing. Obtaining “concession to occupy,” the Trust has been able to apply for the funding required to complete the replacement hut.

The Trust contact person is Alan Thomson, phone 455 7878, email

The information below has been adapted from New Zealand Tramper, which also has map numbers (can be downloaded) and GPS data as well as notes about the track and conditions.

Track Starts from the DOC carpark at Kinvara Station. The carpark is not marked from the main highway. Just go up what looks like a private driveway just south of Lug Creek, about 9 km north of from Middlemarch.
Grade Easy/medium. Be prepared for severe weather at any time of year, especially winter
Length 20km return; to the Leaning Lodge's altitude about 2-3 hours
Time 6 hr - 8 hr (1 – 2 days) return
Altitude 300m – 1,453m. Δ 1,153m (3,783ft)
Capacity 10 people
Cost Standard Department of Conservation fees:
Adults $5.00 per person/night.
11 to 17 years $2.50      
Under 11 years Free. p
P ost to Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club, BOX 1120, Dunedin
Grid reference Topo50 map sheet CD16, E1372100, N4966354

Gallery: "A Stroll to Leaning Lodge" by Gerard Hyland

Rock and Pillar route

View over the Strath Taieri from Leaning Lodge

Leaning Lodge David Barnes
Photo by David Barnes