The Department of Conservation is pleased to announce the opening of the new Siberia Hut in Mount Aspiring National Park in time for the holiday break.
The original 40 year old hut on this site was burnt down in March this year and it has been a monumental exercise to build a replacement within 9 months.
“To have the hut open to the public before Christmas is a satisfying achievement for all those involved in the project.” said Area Manager, Paul Hellebrekers. “This has always been a popular overnight stay for trampers on the Gillespie Pass Circuit Track with around 2000 bed nights per year at the old hut. The comfortable new hut will no doubt be even more popular.”
The rebuild project gave the department the opportunity to reconsider the layout of the hut however the new hut stands on the same footprint, orientated to make the most of the view up valley on the extended decking and the addition of larger windows to allow for more natural light into the hut.The successful tenderers for the project – construction firm Scott Atkinson Construction Ltd – were experienced in building tramping huts, having built the Young Hut in 2006. Project manager Jeremy Murray-Orr is thrilled the whole process went to plan and timing. “The enthusiasm and commitment of the builder made this an enjoyable project,” says Mr Murray-Orr.
The hut, costing around $350,000 to complete, is a “serviced” hut sleeping up to 20 people on bunk platforms in two bunk rooms and also has separate quarters to accommodate a hut warden during peak periods.