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MSC hopes to improve tramper safety at Angelus Hut

Angelus Hut is a difficult proposition in winter. Photo: Michal Klajban, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

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The Mountain Safety Council hopes to improve safety for trampers walking to Angelus Hut, after a report identified a high rate of search and rescue incidents in the area.

The popular hut has around 5000 overnight visitors each year and sees a higher instance of trampers needing assistance than in other parts of New Zealand, RNZ reports.

“It’s a beautiful environment that’s very accessible and draws in big crowds, but weather is a factor and it changes very quickly and the insights we were seeing at particular times of the year, for particular audiences, is that there were a lot of incidents happening,” MSC chief executive Mike Daisley said.

MSC has recommended promoting plan B alternatives for Angelus Hut, and erecting signage at key decision-making points on the tracks, such as has been done on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Lost man joins search for himself

A Turkish man has made headlines around the globe after joining the search and rescue effort for himself.

Beyhan Mutlu was reported missing by loved ones after he got drunk and walked into the forest in the Bursa province.

When search groups were later deployed to find him, Mutlu joined up with them, and began trying to find himself.

When he eventually discovered his mistake, Mutlu was driven home by authorities.

Read the full story here.

Queensland government returns land to indigenous peoples

The Queensland state government has returned 160,000ha of Cape York land to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people, who have inhabited the land for 50,000 years. 

The land, which includes UNESCO World Heritage Site Daintree, Ngalba-bulal, Kalkajaka, and the Hope Islands National Parks, will be co-managed by the aboriginal guardians and Queensland government. 

“The Eastern Kuku Yalanji people’s culture is one of the world’s oldest living cultures and this agreement recognises their right to own and manage their country, to protect their culture and to share it with visitors as they become leaders in the tourism industry,” Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said. 

Backpacker has the full story.

Holly Hut moving to booking system

The 32-bunk Holly Hut on Mt Taranaki will move to the online booking system. 

The hut makes up part of the Pouakai Circuit, and will be available to book on DOC’s website from November 1.

DOC’s Andy Johnston said the move will ensure trampers get a bunk during busy periods.

“To date, it’s been left to chance for visitors as to whether they will get a bed, or the hut is too full. The hut is a three-to-four-hour tramp in from road ends,” he said.

Pricing will remain the same, with adults $15, youth (11-17 years) $7.50 and children 10 and under free.

Read the full story here.

Queen Charlotte Track fully reopens

The Queen Charlotte Track has fully reopened, after severe weather damaged sections of the track in mid-July.

Though it can now be walked in full, trampers are advised that several access issues remain and some campsites have remained closed. 

“People need to take care on the track with repair work still ongoing in places. Parts of the track are muddy so sturdy footwear is needed and people should be careful not to slip,” DOC’s Margot Ferrier said.

“People could encounter machinery operating and work materials on the side of the track that should be avoided. We ask that where DOC staff are working, people follow their instructions.”

See the DOC website for more information.