Nelson Lakes National Park20180617 130026

D’Urville Hut has undergone major renovations during May and June. The work including the relining of the interior walls and ceiling and the installation of new platform bunks. The hut was built in 1964 and has long been overdue for some work. Situated at the head of Lake Rotoroa, the hut is not only for trampers, but predominantly for hunters keen to take advantage of good hunting opportunities in the D’Urville Valley.

Hopeless Hut is closed until further notice due to avalanche danger.

This winter the park has experienced a much thicker snow cover compared to previous years. Some tracks are covered in thick snow up to two metres deep and the track markers are not visible in places.

Trampers are advised to stay away from high avalanche-prone areas of the park unless they have extensive alpine experience and have the necessary equipment.

The amount of firewood provided to huts in Nelson Lakes this year has been less than half the amount supplied in 2017. Previously ready-cut split firewood was supplied, but now long lengths of slab wood are provided which need sawing to size before use.

New Great Walks

Three walks are under consideration to become part of an expanded Great Walks network. The Te Paki Coastal Track (Northland), Hump Ridge Track (Southland) and Queen Charlotte Track (Marlborough Sounds) will be further considered for development.

DOC will complete more detailed research on the three walks during the next few months, which will include engaging with community groups, iwi, and representatives from the recreation, conservation and tourism sectors, and investigating and comparing the costs of bringing them to Great Walks standard. At least one of the walks will become the new Great Walk, and a final decision will be made in late 2018 and be ready to become part of Great Walks network by the 2021 season.

The 2017 Budget allocated $12.7 million to expand the Great Walks network to help reduce pressure on the current Great Walks, provide economic benefits to regional communities and showcase New Zealand’s full range of outstanding landscapes.

Sources:, Nelson Community Forum