Basics for visitors (and any new tramper)
a new article over on the left attempts to outline the basics for anyone new to tramping (New Zealand backcountry hiking). I started with Mathew's basics and added material while trying very hard to keep it short and readable. Any constructive criticism or suggestions are welcomed. Perhaps a linked article for each topic would be a good idea?
there are indeed quite a few huts outside of the great walks that do require booking, doc keep adding to the huts that require booking, and a lot of the new ones require booking https://booking.doc.govt.nz/
thats a bit of an eye opener! lots in the north, and definitely a trend. But if I'm using the search and interpreting the results properly (out side of great walks, roadsides, and off shore islands) there are 9 bookable tramping huts? About 1%? Booking seems to be one reasonable way to even out the usage of certain busy facilities. As long as the huts also still provide shelter to every one with a real and present need. Better in some/most cases than doubling the size of the building?
most of those bookable huts outside the great walks are either relatively new huts or have been made bookable recently because of the high demand on the hut. I'm guessing by putting in newer high quality huts, doc envision a greater popularity. they doubled the size of the old hut on mt pirongia when they completed the new one recently. the 80 bunk hut in the coromandel that's bookable isn't to everyones taste but it seems to serve a need for large youth groups wanting somewhere they can fit everyone in and being at the most populous end of the island it comes in for a lot of use..
there is more than one way to recreate on conservation lands, and more than one perfect sized hut. If we want to preserve the low use 6 bunk hut tramping experience for ourselves and future generations - we better work out how and we better get it written into the management strategies.
that's already being done with outside organisations taking over the maintenance of the smaller huts to ensure they remain in place and useable. DOC has shown liottel interest given the no's of those huts they have tried to remove in the past. they wanted to remove half the huts in the ruahines along with other areas around the country
Looks like I'll have to do a few updates to that draft above. Great feedback ! Keep it coming.
Great summary, PhilipW. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your post on hut etiquette. Just a quick question for everyone - does anyone know if the Waihaha hut in the Pureora Forest requires booking? I had a look at the below link and while it says it's a first come, first serve hut, it does mention further down the page that it requires a Standard Hut fee of $5 for adult per night. Would someone be able to clear this up for me? Thanks in advance TW
a quick read of the DoC website - http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/waikato/places/pureora-forest-park/things-to-do/waihaha-hut/ says that Waihaha hut is classed as a standard hut and so costs $5 per adult per night payed by buying a hut ticket from a doc office, or by buying a season pass. And It is also not a bookable hut - so it is an all come, all served hut. (note: there are no first come first served huts even if doc uses that term)
"the 80 bunk hut in the coromandel that's bookable isn't to everyones taste but it seems to serve a need for large youth groups wanting somewhere they can fit everyone in and being at the most populous end of the island it comes in for a lot of use.." -waynowski (Unsure of how to quote, so if theres a quote function, help me out here) Can confirm that if you are looking for a quiet night then the pinnacles hut gets bloody crowded. Ive been up there twice with it either fully or very close to fully booked and Ive had good times, but at 6am when people were getting up early to see the sunrise, I wished they knew what the meaning of the word "quiet" was... I'd Intended a 9.00 start and would've appreciated another hours sleep. Nice hut though. Very popular for obvious reasons as cooking facilities are provided and theres no need to take a tent or sleeping pad, so minimal gear is needed. That said, I'm rather fond of the smaller huts that are around.
Thanks for the quick response, Hugh. The way you have described it is the way I interpreted it. Thanks again
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