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Hut & Track News December 2013

posted Dec 24, 2013, 2:36 PM by Robert Wopereis   [ updated Dec 24, 2013, 2:45 PM ]

Kahurangi National Park

Graham Valley South Branch Road to the Flora carpark reopened in November 2013 after being closed for the majority of the previous 16 months because of a persistent slip. More than 50,000 cubic metres of rock has been cleared from the slip which is situated on a fault line. The huge work to open the road has cost at least $750,000, split between the Tasman District Council, Department of Conservation and NZ Transport Agency. DOC estimates 23,000 people a year drive to the Flora carpark, the main access point to Kahurangi National Park.


Half of the length of the Mt Arthur Track has been resurfaced during March, April and May 2013.


No decision has been made about building a new Mt Arthur Hut, either on the same site or a new site.


Flora Hut was renovated during April 2013 with the help of Nelson Tramping Club. Roofing iron was removed, repainted, repapered then replaced. More refurbishing may be done in March 2014.

Abel Tasman National Park
The new 34-bunk Anchorage Hut was opened during October 2013 replacing a 24-bunk hut built in 1973. The new hut has four bunkrooms with individual bunks, a large communal area, new toilets, modern insulation, solar-powered lighting, and extensive decks. The investment of $720,000 for the new hut reflects the growth in visitor numbers and the need for better facilities to match higher visitor expectations. Bunks cost $32 per person, per night.

A new 50m boardwalk and an 18m footbridge have been constructed across Richardson Stream at Onetahuti on the Abel Tasman Coast Track giving an all tide crossing.


Exterior and interior painting work was carried out on Castle Rocks Hut during November 2013.



Nelson Lakes National Park

A new road bridge across the Buller River on the Mt Robert Road is to be built during April 2014. This will be just upstream of the old bridge and will include a pedestrian clip-on. The old bridge is not strong enough for some heavy vehicles.


Relax Shelter on Mt Robert will soon be upgraded with seating, lining and two windows. A toilet may also be installed. The Bushedge Shelter on Mt Robert will probably be removed because of its age.


A new 12m footbridge has been installed near Speargrass Hut during September 2013, replacing the previous 4½ m footbridge swept away by flooding in January.


Last summer East Matakitaki, Bob’s and Bushline huts were repainted with the help of volunteers.


Track work has been undertaken on the Lakehead Track between Lakehead Hut and the Travers swingbridge. Three-quarters of the track has been rerouted and is now much less muddy.


The Travers, Cascade, Hopeless and Cupola tracks valleys suffered substantial windfalls during winter and spring and the Travers track has had to be rerouted in three places. The Sabine Valley also had several areas of significant windfalls. It is hoped to have the Travers - Sabine Track cleared for summer 2013-2014.


Because of many significant weather events over the last five years in Nelson Lakes National Park including four bridge washouts, proportionally much more time is being spent by DOC repairing this damage, compared to routine daily operational work. Previously this was about 20% repair work after major weather events, whereas now it 40% or 50%.



Mt Richmond Forest Park

The Hacket Track suffered extensive damage from flooding during April 2013, but remedial work has carried out included cutting of some new short sections of track above washouts. The footbridge across the Hacket Creek on the Whispering Falls Track was swept away with the wreckage now lying in the riverbed near the carpark.


During February 2013, Mid Wairoa and Top Wairoa huts were repainted with funding by Dulux and with the help of three volunteers at each hut. Top Wairoa was repainted in its original safety orange colour and with the hut number 513 on the roof and is a good example of an original Forest Service hut.


Numerous windfalls along Motueka Gorge route has made it difficult to traverse. Trampers should be prepared to spend up to 12 hours between Blue Glen Road and Hunters Hut.