New Zealand Walks: Book­able huts - a Sum­mer suc­cess

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - By Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion

Above top: The view down to Wool­shed Creek Hut. Photo:

Becs Crilly

Above: Lead Hut War­den, Becs Crilly, manag­ing wasp con­trol.

Photo: Becs Crilly ount Somers Track is a very pop­u­lar 26 km cir­cuit track lo­cated in the beau­ti­ful Hakatere Con­ser­va­tion Park, Can­ter­bury.

Due to the trail’s prox­im­ity to Christchur­ch and the rel­a­tive ease of the walk, the 26-bed Wool­shed Creek Hut and the 19-bed Pin­na­cles Hut were of­ten the un­wit­ting des­ti­na­tions of the ‘Week­end Surge’.

This is best de­scribed as a frenzy of keen-as tram­pers head­ing up the hill on a Satur­day (as many as 60 people) hop­ing to se­cure a bed at the end of their hik­ing day.

To help com­bat the week­end over­crowd­ing and the re­sult­ing frus­tra­tions, the two huts were added to DOC’s book­ing sys­tem on 1 Oc­to­ber 2019.

Within eight weeks of the on­line launch, at the be­gin­ning of what the Geral­dine based DOC staff con­sider to be their sum­mer sea­son, bookings were 173% higher than for the same pe­riod for the 2018-2019 sum­mer.

These pro­jec­tions were val­i­dated when the ac­tual fig­ure re­port­ing was re­leased ear­lier this month, con­firm­ing 729 vis­i­tors dur­ing Jan­uary, up from 420 vis­i­tors in Jan­uary 2019. This in­cludes an in­crease in trail-run­ners, day

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