A project begun in 2004 to improve the backcountry experience in Hokitika’s Kokatahi and Crawford valleys has been brought to completion with the relocation and revamping of Top Crawford Hut.
Costing a total of $41,000, Top Crawford Hut was revamped and relocated to the Crawford Basin and is now nestled below Lathrop Saddle, replacing Crawford Biv.
DOC programme manager in Hokitika, Ted Brennan, said the 2004 Recreation Opportunities Review sought public consultation and concluded some huts were too close together resulting in a lack of public use.
“The outcome agreed with the public was that we would rationalise those huts so there’s been a bit of a shuffle going on with the remaining huts being upgraded to a really high standard,” said Brennan.
Top Kokatahi, Crawford Junction and Top Crawford Huts, now four to five hours apart, have been upgraded and now provide trampers with more comfortable shelter.
“We’ve retained the outer cladding, but the huts have been strengthened, insulated, double glazed and little hot box stoves installed,” Brennan said.
Three new swingbridges, costing a total of $76,000, were also built over the last summer, providing improved access and safety.