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