Mt Richmond Forest Park – February 2022
The 16-bunk Rocks Hut sits perched on the Bryant Range, literally just up the hill from downtown Nelson. The current version (erected by the New Zealand Forest Service in 1983-4) is the third hut on site, with two earlier versions built by the Nelson Tramping Club.
Combined with its location on the Te Araroa trail, the modern-day Rocks Hut tends to be a popular destination for trampers of all ages, shapes and sizes. Getting plenty of use means it needs a fair share of TLC, and happily got some attention thanks to a generous grant from the Kaimahi for Nature fund.
Hence our Backcountry Trust crew from Golden Bay, joined by local DOC staff from Havelock, flew in during February, armed with scaffolding, ladders, sandpaper and a few litres of paint.
After a thorough scrub down and sand back, the entire hut and roof got a couple of coats of revitalising red paint – a very welcome change from the previous ‘poo brown’ exterior!
The hut toilet also got a good spruce-up, and the interior a thorough top-to-bottom clean. Just what the doctor ordered, and now Rocks Hut is set for many more years of great service under the baking Marlborough sun.
Great work again from our BCT crew of Nick Craddock, Darryl Anderson, and Rod Barker, with Bart Mehrtens from DOC Havelock. Huge thanks also to James Spiers from DOC Picton for initiating the project, and logistical support. And last but not least, thanks to our chopper pilot Matt Gibb who seamlessly got the team in and out from the Maitai Dam.