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Hut and Track News - September 2014

posted Sep 30, 2014, 9:49 PM by Robert Wopereis   [ updated Dec 29, 2014, 2:19 AM ]

Kahurangi National Park

The Tent Camp in the Cobb Valley has been recently restored by DOC. This historic camp is located between Chaffey Hut and Fenella Hut and is probably the only Tent Camp remaining in the country.
Cobb Tent Camp in 2011 


The Dart Ford on the Wangapeka Valley Road has suffered a build-up of debris upstream which has caused the river to flow over the concrete ford during normal flows. The ford may become impassable after rainfall. Also the pedestrian swing bridge beside the ford has been washed away and will not be replaced. This may affect access to the Wangapeka Track, Courthouse Flat and Mt Owen.


The Graham Valley Road South Branch road to Flora carpark reopened at Queen’s Birthday weekend 2014 after April’s storm, although it has been closed at times since then because the troublesome slip is still considered unstable.


The old and new James Mackay huts 


The new James Mackay Hut in Kahurangi National Park is nearing completion with only the interior fit-out to be done. Although it was due to be opened at the end of September it will now be at least November 2014 when it is fully finished and opened. The contractors are being challenged by a combination of low temperatures and moisture which is hindering the completion of the interior painting. After completion the old hut will be dismantled then removed.


James Mackay Hut is the middle hut of the five main huts on the Heaphy Track and follows the construction of the new Heaphy Hut and the new Perry Saddle Hut, both in 2012.


Nelson Lakes National Park

The new Buller River road bridge on the Mt Robert Road is planned for construction in October 2014.

Mt Richmond Forest Park

The Pine Valley Hut in Mt Richmond Forest Park has burnt to the ground. Its smouldering remains were found by a Marlborough family intending to stay at the hut on Friday 13th June 2014. The family notified DOC which contacted police and fire investigators. It is not known how or when the fire started but it is suspected to be accidental and it is a good time to remind hut users to only use candle holders provided and only ever clean out fire ashes when embers are cold and put the ashes in the steel bucket provided. The hut will not be replaced under DOC’s current prioritisation.

The six bunk hut originally built in 1966 was a popular first time hut experience and was only a 20 minute walk from the Pine Valley road-end, off the Wairau Valley Northbank Road.