Introduction

Visit Glacier Hut which now serves as a skiing museum in Tongariro National Park. The museum is owned and managed by the Ruapehu Ski Club.

This skiing museum in Tongariro National Park is owned and managed by the Ruapehu Ski Club.

Historic Glacier Hut.
Historic Glacier Hut

Fabric

Located at a height of 1740 m at Hut Flat, Whakapapa Skifield, Glacier Hut is a small, one-roomed, timber framed hut clad in corrugated iron, with a porch attached. The interior has six bunks and a stove and is lined with malthoid. The hut contains skiing memorabilia, interpretative panels and a glass viewing screen.

History

Glacier Hut was built in 1923 by Bill Salt and a team of volunteers from the Ruapehu Ski Club 10 years after the club, New Zealand’s first, was established. It was the only structure on the ski field for 13 years. It was eventually superseded as facilities on the mountain improved. It was enlarged in 1946 and used as a storeroom from 1949. It was later cleaned out, in 1961, to display club memorabilia. In 1989 it was restored and converted to a skiing museum.

Fabric significance

Simple, almost rudimentary, but largely uncompromised early mountain hut. The materials for the hut were carted up the mountain and erected entirely by hand.

Historic significance

Glacier Hut was New Zealand’s first purpose-built structure for the sport of skiing. It was built by New Zealand’s first ski club, whose founders were the first in New Zealand to try recreational mountain skiing. Maintained on site since 1961 it is a very early example of a private initiative to conserve an historic building. The hut was registered as a category I historic place in 1993.

Future management

Centrally located on the ski field with more modern buildings close by, this hut will continue to be used as a skiing museum.

A conservation plan was completed in 1992. Ruapehu Ski Club manage this building.

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