Two popular Mt Somers huts will be added to DOC’s booking system this season.
The decision is a response to overcrowding in the Pinnacles and Woolshed Creek huts on the Mt Somers Track.
DOC senior ranger recreation/historic Murray Thomas said the huts have become increasingly popular, particularly in warmer months and on weekends.
“Most recently 44 people stayed in [26 bunk] Woolshed Creek hut one Saturday night in August,” Thomas said.
“Adding these huts to the booking system should enable more people, particularly families with children, to plan their trip with the reassurance they will have a bed to sleep on.”
The hut will be bookable between October 1 and April 30, and new signage will be installed at the start of all tracks reminding trampers of the new system.
“There are campsites available at both huts and people can also camp on the floor or decks of the huts if beds are booked out,” Thomas said.
FMC consulted eight tramping clubs in Canterbury and Otago to provide feedback to DOC on the decision, and discovered trampers to be split into two camps.
Some favour the booking system for bunk certainty, while others oppose it for reducing opportunities for spontaneous trips.
The booking system will be upgraded next year to include trampers with a Backcountry Hut Pass.