Construction underway on MacKinnon Pass shelter
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionWork begun this month on the removal of the existing MacKinnon Pass shelter, which had deteriorated having stood 25 years of the worst weather Fiordland could throw at it. In its place, a new shelter will be constructed, due to be completed by May 2010.
Date: 15 February 2010
While it may not be every builders dream to be 1154 metres above sea level, on an exposed pass, in a remote part of Fiordland National Park, for those tasked with building the new MacKinnon Pass Shelter on the Milford Track, it certainly is proving to be an amazing workplace.
Work begun this month on the removal of the existing MacKinnon Pass shelter, which had deteriorated having stood 25 years of the worst weather Fiordland could throw at it. In its place, a new shelter will be constructed, due to be completed by May 2010.
DOC’s Visitor Assets programme manager for Te Anau Ross Kerr said the current shelter is at the end of its functional life. It is unable to handle the number of trampers that may need shelter at any one time and is inappropriately insulated and ventilated.
“The new shelter has the capacity to handle up to 80 trampers at one time,” Mr Kerr said “which is vital during adverse weather conditions.”
As well as providing additional space, the new shelter will be built using modern materials that will provide improved durability and insulation.
The timing of this work is unavoidable as the site is inaccessible for six months of the year due to snow cover.
“Every effort is being made to minimise the level of disruption for trampers,” Mr Kerr said. The new building has been prefabricated off-site and will be airlifted to MacKinnon Pass for re-construction on site.
A temporary shelter has been established on the pass for walkers to use whilst the new shelter is erected. During the construction period, a team of builders will be living on MacKinnon Pass in temporary accommodation that will be removed at the completion of the project.
“It’s not a bad view to wake up to” one builder commented.