New Zealand Walks: Bookable huts - a Summer success
Above top: The view down to Woolshed Creek Hut. Photo:
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