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October 2017 Issue
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Angelus Hut

Nestled the shore of Lake Angelus, it’s easy to see why Angelus Hut was voted the Hut of the Year. Photo: Mimi Chiu

Hut of the Year

Sitting on tussock 1650m up the Travers Range and overlooking Lake Angelus, it’s little wonder this year’s Hut of the Year is also the most popular in Nelson Lakes National Park.

Park operations manager John Wotherspoon says the combination of an idyllic location and excellent access makes it an iconic spot.

“The hut is in a great location, but the walks in and out are also beautiful,” Wotherspoon says.

In good weather, the best approach is the Pinchgut Track along Robert Ridge, he says, a route pioneered by explorer Julius von Haast in 1860. The track starts at the Mt Robert Road car park.

“You’re on the top of the ridge for five out of six hours. It’s not a super easy tramp, but the views are great all day.”

In bad weather, the Speargrass Track offers a less exposed route, also from the Mt Robert car park. The hut can also be accessed as part of a side-trip on the Travers-Sabine Circuit, either from Sabine Hut or from the Travers River.

The hut also offers an inviting side trip up Mt Angelus (2075m).

The 28-bunk serviced hut was rebuilt in 2010 for $780,000, with an expanded living area to cater for 38 people, including campers.

Angelus is a booked hut over summer but, due to popularity, it will also be bookable on Labour and Queen’s Birthday weekends.

“Last year it was overflowing on both those weekends, with about 50 people staying.”

The hut is often in deep snow in winter – a shovel is attached to the roof in case it’s buried – but it is still used by people ski-touring, Wotherspoon says.

If you want to spend a week at the hut this summer, DOC is looking for volunteer wardens for between October and April.