Rakiura National Park – March 2021
Big Hellfire and Long Harry are huts located on Rakiura’s Northwest Circuit, a week-long plus tramping track around the coastline of this part of Stewart Island.
Late in March 2021, BCT contractors Clint Jarvis and Paul Chinn worked with DOC ranger Andrew King and volunteers from the Winton Rotary Club to carry out work on both these huts. The work was funded by a Kaimahi for Nature grant.
Big Hellfire Hut sits at over 200m, on a forested ridge with some huge sand gullies that stretch down to the coastline far below. Viewpoints near the hut overlook Whenua Hou /Codfish Island to one side, and the extensive wetlands of the Ruggedy Flats to the other.
The hut’s old woodburner had rusted through, and the team replaced it with a new Wagener burner.
They scrubbed the hut, and gave it fresh coats of paint – the first time in nearly 10 years.
After three days working at Hellfire Pass Hut, the team flew to Long Harry Hut.
Long Harry Hut sits overlooking a bay of the same name, near the northernmost point of the Northwest Circuit.
A team of two volunteers working with DOC ranger Nick Stinson had almost completed painting Long Harry Hut, when the Big Hellfire team joined them. They replaced the rusted-out flue of the woodburner and also carried out some minor repairs on the steps.
While on site, the DOC rangers scoped out more projects for the coming summer. The Backcountry Trust will continue to work with DOC, and aims to catch up on a backlog of maintenance required for some of the island’s huts and tracks.