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Hut and Track News - December 2014

posted Dec 29, 2014, 1:56 AM by Robert Wopereis   [ updated Dec 29, 2014, 2:11 AM ]

Kahurangi National Park

A wood burner will be installed by DOC at Balloon Hut in February or March 2015, replacing the gas heater. This will be paid for by Waimea Tramping Club, mainly funded from a bequest from the late Diana Reeves. Diana was president of the club in the 1990’s and instrumental in the upgrading of the hut in February 1995. To pay for the building of a woodshed and other costs, an application is expected to put in to the new Community Conservation Partnership Fund.


The Graham Valley South Branch Road to the Flora carpark has had been cleared of slips over the last few months, costing DOC and TDC $20,000. Buried road counters on the road show the numbers of vehicles using this access to Kahurangi National Park have dropped significantly as the road is now recommended as 4WD only. The large slip is expected to settle down over time.


The concrete-base Dart Ford on the Wangapeka Valley Road now has the river flowing across it in normal flows, as a result of the build-up of debris upstream. Check the river flow on the TDC website or flowphone if using the road after recent rainfall. A flow of 35 cubic metres per second or more in the Wangapeka River would correspond to the Dart Ford being flooded, preventing access to Rolling Junction or Courthouse Flat. Flowphone: 543 8555 (automated service) or:

A temporary DOC bivvy has been installed in the Tasman Wilderness area of Kahurangi National Park for rock wren research. This small 4-bunk hut is located in a basin on the Grange Ridge above the Beautiful River, a day’s tramp from Roaring Lion Hut.
Photos: Mark Townsend, DOC Motueka

Abel Tasman National Park

Anchorage Hut is the first backcountry hut in NZ with Wi-Fi available. This is a locked Wi-Fi for educational purposes, with only a limited number of websites available, such as DOC and Project Janzoon. 60% of visitors to Abel Tasman National Park are from overseas with many carrying mobile devices.


Nelson Lakes National Park

The D’Urville Track between D’Urville Hut and Morgan Hut is impassable because of windfalls.


The construction of the new Buller road bridge at West Bay has been delayed until February 2015.


Mt Richmond Forest Park

Track clearing and the installation of more snow poles has been carried out on the Alpine Route between Red Hills Hut, Porters Creek Hut and Hunters Hut. This track clearing is normally only carried out every 10 years. There has been an increase in usage of this track over the last few years, including 20-50 Te Araroa Trail users per year. Top Wairoa Hut has been recently repainted in its original colour with the hut number on the roof.


A new track from Beebys Knob to Red Hills Hut has been hand-cut by Nelson MTB Trails Trust volunteers and is now 90% complete. The dual use track is not yet signposted or fully marked but can be followed by experienced trampers. The trail will be called the Maitland Ridge Track and is named after the original surveyor. Some of the old 20th century survey pegs are still visible beside the trail.


Dun Mountain Track

Construction is underway of the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary pest-proof fence in the upper Brook Stream. The fence will be built parallel to the Dun Mountain Track at a distance of 50m downhill. To ensure public safety while the work goes on, some public walking tracks are being temporarily closed. The Dun Mountain Track will be closed from Four Corners to Third House from 24 November to 19 December 2014 and 12 January to 15 March 2015. Closures will be between 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Tracks will be open on weekends and public holidays. The sanctuary’s public track system will remain open during the fence construction.

The first phase of work will be for the earthworks to create the bench platform on which the fence will be built (lasting about six months); the second phase will be actual fence construction (lasting about 15 months, with a three month overlap). The fence construction is expected to be completed by about April 2016.