The popular Siberia Hut in Mt Aspiring National Park destroyed by fire in March this year is to be rebuilt.
DOC has announced funding for the new hut has been approved and is now putting the project out to tender.
Staff are currently working with an architect and the department’s engineer to finalise the new hut’s design: “The rebuild project has given the department the opportunity to reconsider the hut facilities that are offered in the Siberia Valley, however, the hut will stand on the same footprint, orientated to make the most of the view up valley,” said area manager Paul Hellebrekers.
DOC said there had been a large amount of public support for a new hut since the fire destroyed the original and iconic 40 year old hut. Hellebrekers said the new hut should be ready for public use before the New Year.
It will have sleeping capacity for 20 to cater for the approximately 2,000 overnight visitors each year. There will also be more windows to take advantage of the valley views.
The New Zealand Fire Service investigation into the Siberia Hut fire was recently completed, but no specific cause was pinpointed. The NZFS report concluded the cause of the accidental fire could not be determined although it was likely to be centred on the LGP installation in the hut warden’s quarters that formed part of the main structure.
Now that the NZFS process has been finalised, the matter has been referred to DOC’s health and safety manager to consider.