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Hooker Hut to return to Aoraki

Image of the November 2018 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
November 2018 Issue
The historic Hooker Hut will be rebuilt in Hooker Valley in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park next year, opening up a new overnight experience in the park. The 12 bunk hut was removed from the Hooker Valley in 2015 as it risked falling down the crumbling moraine wall. DOC Aoraki/Mt Cook operations manager Brent Swanson said the hut has been in storage in Twizel and DOC planned to re-install it near the Hooker Valley Track. Swanson said the hut could be installed about 30 minutes walk off the Hooker Valley Track, between the Mueller Glacier lake and Hooker Lake. “I think it will create a good experience for everybody,” Swanson said. The hut will likely be bookable, and with nearly a million people visiting the park each year, you can expect the hut to book out fast. The hut was built in 1910, when materials were taken up the Hooker Glacier via pack horse. Since then, the glacier has retreated significantly, causing havoc for the hut. This will be the fourth time it has been relocated – it was moved from the crumbling moraine wall three times and had been inaccessible since 1994 after a flood washed out a track. It was then hit by an avalanche in 2005 before it was finally removed from the valley in 2015. It was one of six huts removed from the national park due to the impact of retreating glaciers.