Date: 19 February 2012 Source: Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson
and Nigel Bannan, of Combined 4WD
Clubs, open the new Anne Hut
New Anne Hut, St James Walkway
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson joined a convoy of four wheel drivers to officially open a new 20-bed hut on the popular St James Walkway yesterday.
It was a one-off adventure drive to the remote hut north-west of Hanmer Springs, which is normally open only to walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders. It is a three-hour walk from the nearest generally allowed vehicle access point.
Ms Wilkinson says the new Anne Hut, which replaced one that burnt down, was a key asset for the walkway and cycle trail. It meant distances between huts on the walkway were now able to be walked by family groups.
“The hut can be used by trampers, mountain bikers, horse riders or anyone seeking to enjoy the diverse recreational opportunities in the extensive St James Conservation Area,” she says.
“Given the popularity of the walk, replacing the hut was a priority. It’s important that people have good quality facilities to make the most of this beautiful landscape.”
Ms Wilkinson says the multi-use hut reflects the St James generally, where the varied landscape is suitable for a huge range of activities including tramping, biking, fishing, kayaking, horse riding, hunting, skiing, camping and exploring.
The Anne Hut is mid-way on the St James Walkway, which is one of Canterbury’s premier 4-5 day tramps suitable for families and walkers of varying abilities.
The new hut is larger than the old one and also has accommodation for hut wardens. The previous 14-bed hut burnt down in July 2010. The fire was thought to be caused by hot ashes left in a container on the front veranda.