A short drive past Ngawi village, there's a bridge and carpark from which Mangatoetoe hut is only an hour. No glorious, towering podocarps here. Even the regenerating scrub understory is browsed out. We didn't encounter any company besides the novelty of giant black cattle emerging through dense kanuka now and then for the first half of the walk. They gave us a fright and an idea of what bear encounters must feel like in scarier forests.
The slow-moving river slips into inviting pools close to the hut, the woodshed was fully stocked (don't try to use the fireplace - it expels 100% of the smoke back at your face!) for a bonfire, and the interior was tidy. Across the river are the remains of an old shelter with decaying mattresses, a nice kennel at best?