The hut was built between 1910 and 1920 for the animal quarantine station caretaker by the Department of Agriculture. It was used as a caretaker’s cottage up until the early 1980s. Between 1906 and 1925, the caretakers provided cooked food for the lepers. In 1982, the hut was converted into the island’s interpretation centre.
The interpretation panels are now housed in the Immigrant Barracks on Whakamaru Beach (Swimmers Beach).
Pay at the time of booking.
Backcountry Hut Passes can be used at this hut. To pay with your Backcountry Hut Pass, create/update your account on our booking system. Under 'Apply for a discount', select 'Backcountry Hut Pass Holder' and upload a scan of your pass. Once we've verified your pass, it will automatically be applied when you make a booking.
Bookings are open for stays from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
Bookings are planned to open in May 2021, for stays that require bookings from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. The specific date that bookings will open will be added to this page, at least two weeks prior to the date.
Bookings are required all year.
A $10 service fee applies to all phone, email and in-person bookings.
Your hut booking is for any bunk bed, not for a specific bunk bed – select your bunk bed on arrival.
Black Cat Cruises operates a regular ferry service from Lyttelton Wharf between October and April (groups must book). A weekend-only service runs between April and September. Ensure you know when the last ferry leaves Quail Island to get back to Lyttelton. Once you’ve booked, you'll get a discount code for Black Cat Cruises
You can also make your own way to the island by canoe, kayak or private boat. Whakamaru Beach (Swimmers Beach), Skiers Beach or Walkers Beach are the recommended places to land/launch, but note these areas are shallow or mud flats at low tide. The majority of the island’s coast is unsuitable for landings.
Ōtamahua Hut is an easy 15 minute walk from the wharf.
Overnight camping is available at Whakamaru Beach (swimmers beach) and Skiers Beach for approved groups. For enquiries and booking contact the Ōtautahi /Christchurch Visitor Centre.
If fire breaks out on the Island: