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November 2017 Issue
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Miners’ huts over Wakatipu

A steep descent to Glenorchy on the Mt McIntosh Loop Track. Photo: Lauren Buchholz
This entry is part 15 of 18 in the series Ranger Secrets

Scheelite mining huts, Glenorchy

Ranger: Jim Croawell, Queenstown

In the early 20th century, hardy miners searching for the mineral scheelite lived high in the mountains above Glenorchy. They built basic shelters to protect them from the weather. It just so happens, those huts come with views of some of the most aesthetic landscape in the country.

From a car park on the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, it takes between three and four hours to zigzag up the steep slope along the Judah Track to reach either Heather Jock or McIntyre’s hut – and another two to reach Shickers and McIntosh huts.

DOC has spent several years restoring these huts and now several of them have bunks available. Heather Jock has three bunks, McIntosh four and McIntyre’s five.

“Sleeping in these high huts provides unique sunrises and sunsets, and the joy of a hot cuppa under the stars,” says Croawell. “The views across Lake Wakatipu to the Caples, Routeburn, Rockburn, Dart and Rees Valleys must be one of New Zealand’s finest. In winter, the huts sit above the valley cloud and are in the sun for most of the day.”

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