A new hut in the Waianakarua Scenic Reserve

Doors due to open to the public from the 1st August.

12 July 2023

Known as Kahikatea Lodge, the hut is a result of four years planning and construction by members of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association - North Otago.

A Community Agreement was signed with the Department of Conservation Coastal Otago office two years ago to allow for its construction. The hut is owned and maintained by the North Otago Branch of NZDA, but will be part of DOCs network of huts available to the general public.

How to Book Kahikatea Lodge

Bookings will be necessary and may be made by text to 0276346613 until an on-line booking system can be arranged.

About The Hut and The Site

The hut is based on one of the Departments own designs. It has six bunks plus two spare mattresses. Water is from a two- tank system gathered from rainwater from the roof. The separate toilet is state of the art composting with care taken to ensure minimal impact yet long term sustainability.

The hut is situated in an elevated position on an open section of the ridge locally known as “Whitepine” (Kahikatea) Ridge. It has a wonderful panoramic view from within. As well as the six bunks there is a table, chairs, bench and a solar power system to both the hut and the toilet. An outside deck allows comfortable relaxation with added benefit of considerable birdsong. Heating is by wood burner stove and a large quantity of firewood has been flown in to the site for general use.Access to the hut is via a blazed (Pink ribbon) trail from the new carpark at the end of Mt. Misery Road. How ever care must be taken on the final portion of the road under adverse weather conditions.

Looking South from the carpark the hut may be seen across a steep valley. The trail commences to the left of the existing DOC sign. Fit persons can reach the hut inside an hour, whereas most parties should allow up to double this.For hunters, a meat safe and bench for cutting up meat is provided well clear from the hut itself. While hunting within the surrounding bush dominated by kanuka and native bush gullies hunters must hold a current Doc hunting permit and be aware that other persons and hunters may be in the area. The area has seen a number of search and rescue events in the past and can be seriously disorientating under fogged in conditions that often occur.

The adjacent tussock covered saddle is also the emergency helicopter landing zone. Those camping there should keep this area clear.

Those that made this project possible

Funding for the project has come from many sources. The club itself has raised a large portion of the cost. Major sponsors were the NZ Backcountry Trust, the Otago Community Trust and the B A & L A Wilson Family Trust. Many other local businesses, trusts and individuals contributed to make the project completion possible.

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