Rakiura National Park, Rakiura / Stewart Island – April 2022
Doughboy Bay Hut is the southernmost shelter on the Southern Circuit of Rakiura. Nestled in the forest among the Southern rātā, rimu, flax and crown fern, the hut offers shelter for trampers tackling the circuit, or hunters in pursuit of the island’s whitetail deer. The existing hut has been on site for nearly 20 years, when the old Long Harry Hut was shifted to replace a dilapidated bivvy and tent camp.
Like other huts in Rakiura National Park, Doughboy Bay Hut needed attention, and in April 2022 a Backcountry Trust team and DOC rangers set to the task, with funding from Kaimahi for Nature.
Backcountry Trust manager Rob Brown reports: ‘Week one saw Clint Jarvis, Mark Williamson and Lily Jarvis put a new roof on the hut and make a start on the woodshed.
Week two saw a combined DOC/BCT team including Hedley Wilton, Anna Amos, Megan Dimozantos and Rob Brown with DOC senior ranger Dale Chittenden. (Nick Stinson from DOC was due to be on the trip as well, but was called out to help fight the fire at the Waituna wetland in Southland. Anna stepped in to replace him at the last moment). The team cleared a significant amount of vegetation around the hut to let in light and prevent dampness. We also completely repainted the hut and undertook a few minor maintenance tasks.
Hedley and Megan finished building the woodshed and then we filled it with about three years’ supply of firewood.
That pretty much concludes the summer work in Rakiura National Park. Over the past year, volunteers and Kaimahi for Nature contractors have worked with DOC Rakiura to complete maintenance work on Big Hellfire, Long Harry, East Ruggedy and Yankee River Huts, as well as Doughboy Hut.
Doughboy Bay itself is a place of rugged granite coastlines, shifting sands, and tannin-stained creeks. Tides transform the bay twice daily, exposing a large area of sandy flats at low ebb, and for this reason the bay has been the site of pilot whale strandings in the past. Coastal birds including banded dotterel also frequent the region. Now that Doughboy Bay Hut has been refurbished, it's a great time to explore this special part of Rakiura National Park.