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40 days and nights in the wilderness

Auckland Baptist Tramping Club members and DOC work together on Top Hope Hut in Lake Sumner Forest Park

The Auckland Baptist Tramping Club is celebrating 40 years with 40 days of volunteer work in the backcountry.

The project, which will see four huts renovated by year’s end, started in March with Three Mile Stream Hut and Top Hope Hut in Canterbury’s Lake Sumner Forest Park.

ABTC member David Moore said the volunteer trip has been “plenty of fun”, with no mishaps.

“Completely renovating two backcountry huts in the time we had was a combination of group determination, perfect weather, and a wide range of skills which meant we accomplished more than was anticipated,” he said.

“It was awesome to be a part of something bigger than one’s self and I am indebted to the club members for their enthusiasm, personal cost and the desire to give back.”

DOC oversaw the renovation project, which saw ABTC members prepare and repaint both huts inside and out, provide backup support for DOC staff, clear and mark tracks and replenish firewood.

The second project of the anniversary celebration is yet to be organised and Moore is uncertain if the remaining two hut renovations will be in the North or South Island.

The ABTC was established in 1979 by Jon Collins. It now boasts a membership of around 140 trampers and trips are run most weekends.