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Hut and Track News - March 2012

posted Mar 18, 2012, 5:33 PM by Robert Wopereis
Nelson Lakes National Park
Tramper numbers staying at huts on the Travers - Sabine circuit were down by about one-third during summer compared to the same time last year (from numbers during January). While the main reason is the washout of the West Sabine suspension bridge last November, a general downturn in tourism numbers could also be a reason, as well as some poorer weather.
Despite the bridge washout, the West Sabine River can be easily crossed on a 15m log, spanning the main flow of the river situated only 50m upstream from the old bridge. A replacement swing bridge is planned to be installed during April, at a site a few metres upstream from the West Sabine Hut.
Two new toilets were installed at the hut during November, replacing the toilets washed away in December 2010.
The Hukere Stream footbridge on the route to Angelus Hut that was swept away by an avalanche last winter has been replaced. The new bridge installed during December will be relocatable so it can be removed before the winter avalanche season.
Lakehead Hut has been repainted inside and outside during February.
Cupola Hut has undergone minor renovations including a new wood burner during February/March.
Kahurangi National Park
The construction of a new 28 bunk Perry Saddle Hut on the Heaphy Track began during February with completion expected by late May. The construction of a new 32 bunk Heaphy Hut is due to start in June and should be completed by October or November. James Mackay Hut replacement has been tentatively approved with construction planned for 2013 or 2014.

The Wangapeka Track has been re-cut recently, a job normally done every five to eight years.

During March a new swingbridge is to be installed across Kiwi Stream on the track to Kiwi Saddle Hut. DOC is also considering installing a swingbridge across the Wangapeka River near Stone Hut in the future. This would then provide an all weather circuit from Kiwi Saddle Hut, along the Luna Ridge and down to Stone Hut, which would then be promoted as a three day circuit.

A new wood burner has been installed at Mount Arthur Hut during January. This replaces a gas heater that was removed some months ago after vandalism.
Mt Richmond Forest Park
Boulder Stream Hut at Manuka Island on the Wairau River north bank has been removed during February.