Book­ing sys­tem started for DOC huts

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Taihape - SAM KILMISTER

A sea­sonal book­ing sys­tem will com­bat over­crowd­ing at the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion’s pop­u­lar Rangi­wahia and Sun­rise huts.

The depart­ment is im­ple­ment­ing the sys­tem for beds at the two shacks lo­cated in the tus­sock-tops of the Ruahine For­est Park.

Rangi­wahia Hut has 13 bunk beds on the western side of the park. It’s a two to three-hour walk through the for­est and emerges out of tus­sock just above the bush line, of­fer­ing scenic views across the Manawatu¯ and Ran­gitı¯kei dis­tricts, and across the Cen­tral Plateau.

Sun­rise Hut has 20 bunk beds on the eastern side of the park. The two to three-hour walk takes vis­i­tors through chang­ing for­est types to reach open land at the top. The hut sits in a tus­sock basin, with views across the Hawke’s Bay plains and is a good spot to watch the sun­rise, which is where it gets its name.

The depart­ment’s Manawatu¯ dis­trict op­er­a­tions man­ager Dun­can Too­good be­lieved the book­ing sys­tem would man­age over­crowd­ing and en­cour­age new peo­ple to get into the out­doors.

The huts won’t be locked, and shel­ter in a storm was guar­an­teed, Too­good said.

‘‘Safety is our No.1 pri­or­ity. If you’re out on the track and the weather starts to turn, it’s im­por­tant to know that you can al­ways seek shel­ter at these huts.’’

The friendly tracks made them ideal for young fam­i­lies, groups and newer tram­pers, Too­good said.

Book­able beds were tri­alled at the huts last sum­mer, which proved suc­cess­ful and meant the book­ing sys­tem would im­prove vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence, Too­good said.

Warmer, more set­tled weather - from Labour Week­end to the end of April - en­cour­aged fam­i­lies and less ex­pe­ri­enced tram­pers to dust off their boots and head for the hills, Too­good said.

‘‘I love ex­plor­ing the out­doors with my fam­ily, but as a par­ent, I need to know my kids will have a place to sleep af­ter their big ad­ven­ture,’’ Too­good said.

Hut war­dens will pe­ri­od­i­cally mon­i­tor through­out the sea­son.

Book­ings can be made at on the depart­ment’s web­site.


A sea­sonal book­ing sys­tem will com­bat over­crowd­ing at Rangi­wahia and Sun­rise huts.

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