INDEPENDENT NEWS

Three New Backcountry Huts For The West Coast

Published: Fri 24 Aug 2001 09:05 AM
21 August 2001
CAPTION: The photo shows Conservation Officer Ted Brennan walking past the dilapidated and soon to be replaced Dillons Hut in the lower Taipo.
Three New Backcountry Huts For The West Coast Conservancy
The Department of Conservation today announced plans to replace three backcountry huts in the West Coast Conservancy thanks to extra Government funding for visitor facilities. These huts are planned to be replaced as part of the Department’s hut standards programme.
The huts to be replaced are Dillons Hut a 10 bunk facility situated in the lower Taipo, Carroll Hut an 8 bunk facility on the Kelly Range and Bucklands Hut, a 5 bunk facility situated at the northern end of the Paparoas. This follows the Government’s budget commitment of $16 million for DOC to manage and upgrade visitor facilities.
West Coast Conservator Mike Slater said the planned replacement of these huts was great news as they provided important overnight recreational opportunities within the West Coast area.
“Dillons Hut and Carroll Hut are an integral part of a number of popular tramping circuits in the area.
“The planned replacement of these huts will continue to allow recreationalists to comfortably complete the days walk between various huts in this area.
“Both huts also provide great opportunities for overnight or day trips,” Mr Slater said.
“The planned replacement of the Bucklands hut will offer the opportunity to increase visitor numbers to the Paparoas thereby raising awareness of this unique area.
“ Being 3-4 hours from the road end, Bucklands Hut allows overnight recreational opportunities as well as providing a base for longer trips in this area.
“It is also an important safety net, providing refuge from the weather which can change quite quickly in the mountains,” Mr Slater said.
Backcountry huts play a key role in the tramping and recreational experiences of many New Zealanders and DOC is committed to sustainable management of this valuable resource. The replacement of these huts will ensure they are structurally sound and that they meet acceptable environmental standards, Mr Slater said.
Tenders for the replacement huts will be called for in the near future, with construction dates yet to be confirmed. Liaison with local stakeholders will also be undertaken. Public access to the area will of course be maintained through the construction of the new huts but great care will need to taken with regard to public safety and environmental factors, he said.
ENDS

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