Makeover for West Coast’s Poet Hut

Department of Conservation —  31/03/2015

By Jose Watson, Partnerships Ranger, Hokitika

This is Poet Hut. It was built in 1959, and it’s located on the banks of the Mungo River, on the Toaroha, Hokitika, Lower Whitcombe Track.

Poet Hut before maintenance work in March 2015.

Poet Hut (before the makeover)

This month rangers from Hokitika headed into the hills to clear the track and do some maintenance on the hut.

The exterior of the hut was due for a paint and the interior was looking like it had seen plenty of nights around the fire.

Fixing up the interior of Poet Hut.

Fixing up the interior

Inside the walls, things were looking a bit yucky, with rats nests and damaged framing. So the rangers got busy.

The result is fresh inside and out.

Finished interior of Poet Hut.

Finished interior

It looks like a great place to call home for the night. Even the woodshed and toilet are looking smart!

The wood shed at Poet Hut after maintenance.

Smart looking wood shed

There are over 70 huts in the backcountry behind Hokitika – making this area the “Backcountry Capital of New Zealand”. That’s a lot of maintenance!

In addition to DOC rangers, there are many people who help out by donating their time to maintain and upgrade huts.

New signs at Poet Hut.

New signs

Permolat is one group who do a lot of maintenance work on huts around New Zealand.

The Outdoor Recreation Consortium also manages a fund that community groups and individuals interested in looking after huts, tracks and other facilities on public conservation land can apply for.

We also benefit from generous sponsorship from Dulux, who are bringing their colour expertise to painting DOC’s assets.

The finished exterior of Poet Hut.

The finished exterior

Dulux’s Weathershield X10 paint from “Colours of New Zealand“ range will not only preserve special places like Poet Hut for generations to come, but it will keep them looking good.

If you are interested in taking on a hut and giving it some love and attention, or if you’d really like to help paint one—get in touch with your local DOC office!

6 responses to Makeover for West Coast’s Poet Hut

    Scotty Peters 18/04/2015 at 7:35 pm

    Great to see the old cullers hut getting a fix up, good on ya doc Hokitika.

    Marion Bridge 17/04/2015 at 4:50 pm

    Was there a poet of the Poet hut?


    Awesome work team! I experienced the after-math of Sharon’s close encounter with the rat at Poet’s Hut after a long day in the hills. So I’m stoked to hear it’s had a makeover. Will have to go back and visit sometime!


    Wow, what a difference – well done everyone who laboured on it. Helps me move on from an unpleasant memory of a night there with a rat scuttling across my face as I lay there trying to sleep!

    Muriel Donald 17/04/2015 at 9:23 am

    Congratulations on all the work done on Poet Hut. Look forward to visiting it sometime.


    Awesome work DOC! Looks like a great hut and nice and cosy inside. Love the paint job!