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January 2022 Issue
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Queenstown hut closed for overnighters

Vandalism has put paid to overnight stays at Sam Summers Hut

Trampers are now unable to stay overnight at the historic Sam Summers Hut near Queenstown due to ongoing issues with vandalism and damage.

The hut was built in the 1930s by gold prospector Sam Summers. It is in beech forest on the Mt Crichton Loop Track, near DOC’s Twelve Mile Delta campground on Lake Wakatipu.

Queenstown district senior heritage and visitors ranger Richard Kennett said while most people respected the hut, some had been lighting fires, scratching their names in the hut’s walls, climbing on the roof and breaking windows. As the hut’s popularity increased, DOC decided to stop people staying overnight. Trampers will still be able to visit the hut during the day.

It comes after two other historic huts in the area were destroyed by fires. In 2018 a 155-year-old homestead burned to the ground at Skippers Canyon after overnight visitors lit a fire inside on New Years Eve. About 20 years ago an historic wooden hut at Macetown also burned down when a visitor lit a fire.