A new hut has opened in the Bay of Plenty’s Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park.
The 12 bunk Te Whare Okioki is a collaborative project led by the Kaimai Ridgeway Trust, and has been added to the DOC booking system for the 2019/20 season.
Translated as ‘the resting place’, the hut can be accessed via a three to six hour tramp from seven road ends in the southern Kaimai ranges, and sits on the Kaimai North-South Track route.
Trustee Tony Walton said the build is the first of several planned by the Kaimai Ridgeway Trust.
“This end of the country desperately needs more backcountry huts and a good standard of tracks because of the population density, and even more so with the closure of so many forests as a kauri protection measure,” he said.
Walton said the hut is a “unique” build, and is unlike most backcountry huts.
Aerated concrete blocks make up the majority of the building, increasing its insulation and resistance to fire.
“The deck is probably the largest I have seen on a hut and it’s sheltered from most weather, so you get much more of an outdoor appreciation,” he said.
An external meat safe and dog kennels have also been built for hunters.
The hut was funded largely by the Backcountry Trust, with donations also coming from tramping clubs and charitable organisations and support from Waikato iwi Ngāti Hinerangi.
Bay of Plenty Deerstalkers completed much of the building, along with other volunteers.
Campsites are available in the surrounding clearing and forest.