Newton Creek Hut Rebuild
Newton Creek Hut in the Arahura Catchment inland from Hokitika was built in April 1962 by the New Zealand Forest Service. This standard 4-bunk S81 hut had been in relatively good condition until people started to notice that rats had broken into the wall and ceiling cavities in 2012.
A joint project was funded by the Backcountry Trust and Permolat, and in February 2017, builder Eric Saggers flew in with John Charles from Arthur's Pass, Rob Brown and Peter Mortlock and two tonnes of materials and equipment. Over the next two days the hut was stripped right back to the frame and the team set about rebuilding the corners of the hut, replacing rafters that had been almost completely eaten through by rats, and laying a new marine ply floor over the old one after areas of rot and rat damage were removed.
Mistake Flat Hut Renovation
Mistake Flat Hut was originally built as a standard NZFS S70 hut situated in the Rakaia catchment on Glenfallach Station, for use if the cullers were unable to cross the river. Once the culling had ceased in the early 1980’s, and the hut was no longer needed, it was loaded onto a trailer and moved to the current site in the Havelock Valley, to replace the wind-damaged hut of the same name. The hut is situated by the confluence of the Forbes and Havelock rivers in the upper Rangitata catchment, and can be reached by four wheel drive vehicle.
Hacket Track Storm Damage Repairs
In 2019 a hardy group of volunteers from the Nelson Mountain Biking Trails Trust has steadily worked away repairing the popular Hacket Track close to Richmond. This old benched stock track traverses a legal road alongside the Hacket River and as well as being a good mountain biking track offers access into some nice tramping country in Mount Richmond Forest Park.
Healey Creek Hut maintenance
Healey Creek Hut is in a strategic location at the start of the Galena Ridge on one of the routes into Ivory Lake. Permolat had identified that the hut had slipped off some of its piles and was leaking. In mid April 2018 Tom Hayes of Christchurch got a group together to take on the work. Jane Morris, John Milne, Geoff Spearpoint, Andrew Buglass and Rhys Bowden, joined him on the first work party and over the next few days lifted the roof, replaced the building paper and barge caps, prepped the window frames for paint, while others got on with recutting the access tracks.
Old Top Forks Hut Rebuild
Back in 2018 the DOC Wanaka office informed us that they were contemplating demolishing the old Top Forks Hut at the head of the Wilkin Valley in Mt Aspiring National Park.
Built in 1960 by deer culler and local Makarora pilot Alan Duncan, the hut pre dated the establishment of the park in 1964 and was built as a joint venture with Mt Albert Station as a base for venison recovery, recreation and mustering the head of the valley. It was a link with the heritage of the park we thought was worth saving.