Downes Hut is a small, 5 metres x 4 metres, timber framed and clad building. It is just one room with a platform bunk on the left of the door and a bench and fireplace on the right. The entrance and main elevation is sheltered by a verandah.There is an interpretation panel inside the hut.
This plum coloured hut sits on a terrace above the Whanganui River facing the river road and is a prominent sight from the opposite bank. It is on the true right bank of the Whanganui River, and can only be accessed from the river or through a difficult overland tramp. It is used as accommodation for national park users, particularly canoeists on the Whanganui River.
Photograph by J. R. Lythgoe.