The trust formed last year and manages a $350,000 annual DOC fund to help volunteer groups restore huts and tracks. It has now started a Give-a-little campaign to raise $20,000 to help re-roof two huts on the Dusky Track.
Grant manager Rob Brown said maintenance on the huts has been lagging behind and they are leaking.
“The huts are over 50 years old now and if we don’t do the work they will deteriorate further,” Brown said. “Spey Hut has already gone backwards and there is some rotten timber we will need to cut out.”
The trust has funded the first phase of the work, which will involve re-roofing Lake Roe Hut this spring. Brown said further funding from the community will enable the trust’s limited funding to go further and complete work on Loch Maree and Spey huts.
“Any contributions will go directly to restoring these huts,” he said. “People talk about the Great Walks, but the Dusky Track is one of our great tramps. It’s a challenging 10-day trip through the heart of our biggest and most incredible national park and we need to ensure these huts last at least another 50 years.”
But why isn’t DOC funding the work?
“The bulk of the trust’s funding comes from DOC, so they are helping to fund it, but there’s an awful lot of work DOC has to do and its budget is under a lot of pressure,” Brown said. “There’s also a lot of people that want to get involved and help restore these huts, so if we can do some catch-up maintenance, that will allow DOC to continue with its normal operational work.”
To donate to the project, head to www.givealittle.co.nz.