Matai Bay hut restoration a labour of love
For Blenheim nurse Caro Bartlett, a good summer holiday is the old-fashioned kind - an escape to an isolated hut on a beach, among the bush and without cellphone reception.
And at Matai Bay in Pelorus Sound, you can now do just that, thanks to Caro and her fellow Tennyson Inlet Boat Club committee members, who have completed restoration of a Department of Conservation hut.
The project has been a labour of love, Caro says.
‘‘It’s such a wonderful hut. And people of any age, old and young, can visit and have an experience they won’t forget.’’
DOC had planned to move the hut from Matai Bay, about an hour’s drive north of Havelock, to Nydia Bay which is further south, after the hut was repeatedly vandalised.
It was originally built in the late 1960s as a station for hunters to stop wild animals, such as pigs, destroying native bush.
But in 2011, the boat club offered to restore and maintain the hut so it could stay in the bay.
‘‘It was a lot of hard work,’’ Caro says.
The club fundraised to pay for the work and volunteers, including professional builders and students, spent years getting the hut back up to scratch.
Improvements including a new deck and a jetty for boats - the only way to access the bay - were finished last year.
The club’s efforts have been recognised with a nomination for the Cawthron Institute Environment Awards and the Trustpower Marlborough Community Awards.
‘‘We do it because we’re just so passionate about it,’’ Caro says.
The club hopes to see tourists and families staying in the hut this summer, the first since the
‘‘We want people to be staying in that hut each year and keeping that traditional Kiwi holiday alive.’’
restoration project was completed.
‘‘We want people to be staying in that hut each year and keeping that traditional Kiwi holiday alive.
That will keep the hut there for the community for years to come.’’
Visit doc.govt.nz or contact the Picton Department of Conservation office for more information on bookings.
Caro Bartlett, Tennyson Inlet Boat Club committee member A group of volunteers in front of the finished hut at Matai Bay.
Tennyson Inlet Boat Club volunteers from left, Graham Spall, Doug Booth, Nick Hassan and Caro Bartlett work on the tracks around the Matai Bay hut.