People relaxing on the deck of Mintaro Hut

Image: Fred Clark | Creative Commons

Introduction

This is a 40-bunk, Great Walk hut on the Milford Track, Fiordland. Bookings required in the Great Walks season.

Hut overview

Category

  • Category
Great Walk

Bookings

  • Bookings

Bookings required

Facilities

  • Cooking
  • Heating
  • Lighting
  • Mattresses
  • Toilets - flush
  • Water from tap - not treated, boil before use
40 bunk beds

Seasonal restrictions

In the Great Walks season (29 October 2019 – 30 April 2020):

  • Bookings are required

Outside the Great Walks season (1 May 2020 - 26 October 2020):

  • Bookings are not required - first come, first served
  • Facilities are reduced

About this hut

This is one of three DOC Great Walk huts on the Milford Track – the Clinton, Mintaro and Dumpling.

This hut offers stunning views of the steep-sided Clinton Valley and a welcome rest before the Mackinnon Pass climb the next day.  

Facilities and services

In the Great Walks season (29 October 2019 – 30 April 2020):

  • 40 bunks with mattresses in a communal sleeping layout.
  • Water supply, flushing toilets, wash basins with cold running water (but no showers).
  • Heating with fuel available, and solar lighting in the communal kitchen area.
  • Cooking facilities with fuel, tables and seating (but no cooking utensils).
  • A friendly conservation ranger - they like to chat, they know the area well and can tell you about the environment and weather, or help out should an emergency arise.

Outside the Great Walks season (1 May 2020 - 26 October 2020):

  • Gas is not provided - you will need to bring your own cooking stove.
  • Flush toilets are replaced with pit toilets.
  • Running water is turned off inside the huts. Water can be obtained from the outside water tank, if this is frozen, then from the nearest water course or by melting snow.
  • There are no conservation rangers based at the huts.
  • Beds are on a first come, first served basis

Getting there

This hut is the second DOC hut on the Milford Track, at the head of the Clinton Valley, Fiordland.

Location

NZTopo50 map sheet: CB08
Grid/NZTM2000 coordinates: E1187277, N5025130

Fees

In the Great Walks season (29 October 2019 – 30 April 2020):

New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand*:

  • Adult (18+ years): $70 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): free but booking still required

International visitors:

  • Adult (18+ years): $140 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): $140 per person, per night

Outside the Great Walks season (1 May 2020 - 26 October 2020):

Walking the track outside the Great Walk season should only be attempted by fit, experienced and well equipped trampers.

For all visitors: 

  • Adult (18+ years): $15 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): free

* New Zealand rates:

  • "Ordinarily resident in New Zealand" means those:
    • who hold a residence class, student or work visa; and
    • who have lived in New Zealand for six of the previous 12 months; and
    • for whom New Zealand is their primary place of established residence.
  • Proof of eligibility will be required for the New Zealand rate - see acceptable eligibility proof.

Bookings

Bookings are required in the Great Walks season.

Book Mintaro Hut online.

Know before you go

Earthquake risk

The Mintaro Hut on the Milford Track could pose a risk in the event of a severe earthquake.

A GNS (seismic research institute) assessment has concluded that an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude or greater on the Alpine Fault or Fiordland subduction zone could trigger large rockfall onto Mintaro Hut.

Because of this, recent expert advice has assessed the risk to hut users staying overnight as higher than the average visitor might expect. We are informing visitors so you can make your own decision on whether to proceed with the walk.

What does this mean?

Mintaro Hut is more than 30 years old and is near one of the most challenging parts of the Milford Track. The risk level has not increased over the years – our understanding of the geology of the area has.

Because of this, DOC has begun work on replacing the hut, that has included research and monitoring of nearby sites to ensure any new site has a significantly lower rockfall risk. 

Is it safe?

The hut is located in a rockfall zone which could be triggered by a large earthquake.

New Zealand, particularly in areas along the alpine fault such as Fiordland, is prone to earthquake and seismic activity. The likelihood of an earthquake of a magnitude that could trigger a rockfall in that area is estimated at 1 percent per year, with 15–20% probability of occurring in the next 15 years.

What happens now?

The Milford Track and hut remain open. Like any outdoor activity in New Zealand, it is up to individual users whether they want to accept the level of risk and continue with their walking plans.

The nature of the landscape of Fiordland where the Milford Track is located, means no matter where you are, there will always be some element of risk. The New Zealand outdoors is full of risks – weather events, earthquakes and other hazardous conditions can and do happen anywhere at anytime.

A new site has been identified approximately 2 km from the current location. It is expected that the new Mintaro Hut will be open in October 2020.

Contacts

Te Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 249 7924
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   fiordlandvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Fiordland National Park
Visitor Centre
Lakefront Drive
Te Anau 9600
Postal Address:   PO Box 29
Te Anau 9640
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