Lions Hut

The Te Urewera Education Centre popularly known as the “Lions Hut” was opened 26th June 1966 by the Whakatane Lions Club.

Over the years the combined Lions Clubs of the Eastern Bay of Plenty and volunteers have maintained and developed the venue which has a total floor area of 290 square metres with accommodation for 40 people at any one time.

The Te Urewera Education Centre is principally used as an education facility to provide a healthy learning environment and recreation for people of all walks of life, especially the youth of New Zealand.

Many groups use the facility for bush craft, river crossing techniques, safe firearm instruction, natural history, cultural appreciation and environmental education.

The Lions Hut is used by various groups such as schools, community, various family and youth groups. The Lions Hut also serves as a Search and Rescue base when the need arises.

The Lions Hut

In 2002 a large extension and upgrading of the facilities was completed which included the addition of a class room and teacher’s room. Since then further upgrading has been completed with the installation of a solar power system giving electric lighting to replace candles and lanterns which were a serious fire safety hazard.

The Lions Hut has 2 bunk rooms with 20 person capacity, dining room with tables and chairs, educational area for studies, showers, heated by a Marshall heater (runs off firewood), flush-able toilets, solar power for lighting, wood fires, gas/hob oven, large workable kitchen area.

Location within Te Urewera

The Lions Hut is located at 1146 Matahi Valley Road which isabout an hour’s drive
from Whakatane, via Taneatua Road SH2, turning off at Bells Road on to Matahi
Valley Road in Te Urewera.

The Lions Hut is sited adjacent to the Ngutuoha Stream in the Matahi valley within
the northern part of Te Urewera It is surrounded by bush with many walking tracks
near by including Ngutuoha Nature Trail Granny’s Track, Te Waiiti Stream via Te Pona a Pita Track, Ogilvie’s Ridge Loop Track, Otamatuna and Tawai Ridge track,
“The Wall” Tracks.

Matahi Valley Road which passes the Lions Hut goes to private farmland, Ngutuoha Pa Site and Te Pakau (8 Acres) camp ground. Across the stream was a Tuhoe retreat site. The Ngutuoha Stream runs into the Tauranga River which combines with the Te Waiiti Stream to form the Waimana River.

There are a number of tracks within the valley, and information on these, is available
from the Department of Conservation Area Offices of Gisborne and Whakatane.

Te Urewera

Te Urewera forms part of the largest forest wilderness area remaining in the North Island.
The enduring nature of Te Urewera over millions of years is represented by its natural forests, pristine lakes and waterways, its flora and fauna and its diverse wildlife. For centuries, Te Urewera has been the homeland of the Tuhoe people and today is recognised
as an area of cultural and spiritual significance. In 2014 National park status was removed from Te Urewera as part of a settlement agreement between Tuhoe and the crown. Te Urewera is now co-managed under the Te Urewera Act by Te Uru Taumatua (Tuhoe representatives) and the crown. It is principally managed in the “Interest of Te Urewera” recognising and addressing the values and needs of the Tuhoe people and the wider community interests. The guiding principle that forms the basis of the management of Te Urewera is “Respect”.

Respect for Te Urewera.
Tiaki i Te Urewera.

Respect for Tuhoe Culture.
Tautoko i nā tikana a Tūhoe

Respect for all people with in Te Urewera.
Manaaki i nā tānata katoa o Te Urewera.

Because of the threat to ground-dwelling birds, DOGS ARE STRICTLY NOT PERMITTED within Te Urewera or at the Te Urewera Education Centre Enquiries can be made at Te Uru Taumatua in Taneatua.

Please ensure you leave no trace of your visit with minimal disturbance to vegetation and water courses.

Take the learning values from Te Urewera and promote co-existence, tolerance, endurance and a ONENESS among all people.

Lions Club of Whakatane Te Urewera Education Centre Inc is a non-profit organisation. All income from the hut goes towards the upkeep, so young and old can continue to benefit from the hut for years to come.