Tramping Clubs, NZDA Branches and other custodians are welcome to put this report from the last Tararua Aorangi Rimutaka Huts Committee meeting on 9 April, in your monthly members magazine, to keep your members informed.
Earlier last year, DOC strengthened Jumbo Hut by adding steel and other strengthening to cope with 200 km/hr winds. DOC expects this strengthening to extend the life of Jumbo, for another 3 to 5 years, by which time DOC hopes to have funding to build a larger replacement, as part of the Powell-Jumbo-Atiwhakatu Circuit.
Note: If extreme winds are forecast, it is best to get out of the Park, as trees will get uprooted, and huts may also suffer damage.
Powell Hut – Demolition and Rebuild
The present Powell Hut has suffered water damage and DOC is replacing it. Although this was expected to start last summer (2018), it is now planned to start in December 2018. DOC has funds for the rebuild, and is seeking tenders.The old hut will be demolished as the new hut is being built, to cost-effectively use helicopters backhauls, once the demolition starts. Therefore no public hut accommodation will be available at the hut site once construction starts.
Hut Bookings for the three huts on the Holdsworth Circuit (Powell and Jumbo – 3 tickets/night, Atiwhakatu – 1 ticket/night)
DOC advises that these three huts can be booked by users from Labour Weekend to Easter2019. Powell will drop out, once replacement starts. People who do not want to book can still use the huts as they are not locked, and often bunks are available. If not, one can sleep on the floor – but still need to pay hut fees. Annual Hut passes can also be used.
Kawhatau Base, Ruahine Forest Park
DOC is now booking out this hut. But there is no vehicle access. Access is up the Kawhatau River, with the associated flood risk. See the DOC hut-booking website.
Photo at top: Jumbo Hut, Tararua Range (c) Daniel Clearwater