The busiest hut in the Tararua Forest Park will be out of action this summer as DOC builds a new and expanded $300,000 facility.
Powell Hut is being rebuilt after engineers found the hut would be unsafe in winds over 180km/h. DOC ranger Jim Flack said construction was expected to start in January to take advantage of relatively calm weather on the exposed site – the hut sits at 1330m, just above the treeline. The build is expected to take two to three months.
The new hut would expand its capacity from 28 to 32 bunks. The design has been based on consultation, including a survey of more than 700 people. The hut is on the popular Holdsworth Jumbo Circuit.
Meanwhile, Jumbo Hut is set to reopen this summer. The hut has been closed since July, when engineers found it was unsafe in high winds and heavy snow loads. The work on the 20-bunk hut was expected to cost $30,000.
Flack said the 36-year-old hut was also scheduled to be rebuilt in the next five years.
“It’s coming to the end of its useful life,” he said.