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September 2018 Issue
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Million dollar rebuild for Milford Track hut

Mintaro Hut’s days are numbered. Photo: Alasdair W/CreativeCommons

A new $1.8m hut will be built on the Milford Track to replace the ageing Mintaro Hut.

Fiordland operations manager Greg Lind said the hut, the second that trampers reach on the track, will be built in 2020 to open for the 2020/21 season. It will be about two kilometres further up the Clinton Valley from the existing hut, just past the start of the climb to the Mackinnon Pass. Lind said the site of Mintaro Hut was prone to rockfall and the hut was at the end of its life.

“I first walked the track in 1987 and it had just been built then,” Lind recalled. “It’s taken a hammering in the alpine environment over the years and it’s past its use-by date.”

The new hut would be a vast improvement, he said.

“It will have even better scenic views than Mintaro, with good views of the Mackinnon Pass and the upper valley. The interior of huts like Mintaro were pretty dark, but the new hut’s design will make the most of the views, with large windows.

“We want to make the hut part of the iconic experience.”

All of the building materials would have to be flown in, which made building the hut expensive, Lind said.