An overnight trip to Pinnacles Hut – many a tramper’s first time hut experience – is the perfect introduction to our new podcast series, Sounds from the Trail
This month, Wilderness is launching Sounds from the Trail, a podcast that will bring you stories from the backcountry to the frontcountry, and everything in between.
The first episode is part of the Hut Life series, in which we visit huts around the country, meeting the people who stay in them and hearing their stories.
Wilderness recently journeyed to Pinnacles Hut, perched in the rolling hills of Coromandel Forest Park. Pinnacles is New Zealand’s largest hut, with 80 bunks, electricity and a large kitchen equipped with gas stoves.
When Wilderness visited, it was a fairly quiet Saturday night; a school group had 30 fewer students than planned and several other parties had cancelled last-minute. It made for a comparatively intimate gathering of around 40 weekend warriors, many of whom had traveled from Auckland and Hamilton.
Enjoying the warm sunshine on the deck of the hut, Aucklander Andrew Dwyer said it was his first time staying at a hut, which he said sparked his interest in exploring more of New Zealand’s outdoors. “You always hear from travellers when you meet them abroad, and they say, ‘Oh I’ve done this in New Zealand,’ and you realise you haven’t even done it yet.”
Kevin Lum, also from Auckland, agreed, saying he’s keen to get out and explore his own backyard. “You’re asking someone foreign, oh whereabouts is that in New Zealand?”
You can also hear an interview with hut warden Pete Hall, aka ‘Pete the Ranger’, who reckons he has the best job in the world. “To be surrounded by beauty like this all day every day…can’t beat it.”