This page answers some frequently asked questions about booking huts on the Mt Holdsworth - Jumbo Circuit.
What can I expect as a 'booked' hut user?
You can expect the assurance and priority use of a bunk. If the hut is full, you may experience 'non-booked' users turning up and 'cramming' into spaces available, including the floor. These huts are open to all users - as backcountry huts are in a potentially hostile environment, safety is paramount. The booking system helps groups ensure bunk space and view availability on any given night.
A hut warden will be on site periodically throughout the peak season. When the warden is not available, bunkallocation will need to be self managed. Any issues should be reported to the Masterton DOC Office, +64 6 377 0700, so we can collate feedback and address problems.
What can I expect as a 'non-booked' hut user?
Preferably all users should book the huts in advance to avoid the situation of 'cramming' alongside booked users. However there may be situations where the hut is required for un-booked use, even when the hut is full. This would usually be because of unplanned trip changes due to weather. Un-booked users need to respect the priority that 'booked' users have to bunks and should move into un-booked spaces, like the floor or deck, when required.
What happens if a group turns up mid-afternoon, takes bunks and then a large group arrives and tells them that they have to move as they have already booked the hut?
If a group arrives that has not booked, they will not be turned away but will not be guaranteed a bunk. If the unbooked group arrives first and sets up their gear, they will have to move for a booked party. This situation can be avoided if all parties book. Floor space inside or on the deck can be used.
Does the booking system devalue the annual hut pass?
Backcountry hut passes are still recognised as valid payment for the huts on the Mt Holdsworth - Jumbo Circuit. If passes are to be used as payment, bookings need to be made at any DOC visitor centre. There will be no additional booking fee with this process. Hut tickets cannot be used as payment for a booking.
Will the huts be locked like other bookable DOC facilities?
Huts will not be locked.
Who will enforce the bookings?
Hut wardens will be present periodically to manage issues that result from bookings.
Can we still stay at the huts if we have not booked?
Yes, unallocated bunks at the huts will still be available to trampers that haven't booked, but we recommend booking to guarantee a bunk space.
Is the booking for the whole hut or the bunk?
The booking is per bunk.
How will the public know the hut is booked and not worth going up there?
Public can book to guarantee themselves a bunk and can view bunk availability on the DOC online booking system.
How can I make a booking?
You can book yourself on the DOC online booking system using a credit card.
If you have no access to the internet or want to pay by cash or cheque you will need to go to any DOC visitor centre.
You can use your annual hut pass or credit card by giving details over the phone. Hut passes need a verification check first. Groups that have been credit checked and verified can be invoiced if in the system.
What if I want to make a booking outside of office hours?
You can use the DOC online booking system.
Can you make a booking without paying?
No bookings will be accepted without payment. An 'on hold' option, for a maximum of 24 hours, is available in some cases e.g. to enable cash payment arrangements or for group date confirmations.
How can I confirm my booking?
Upon booking you will receive a confirmation letter with your booking details, bring this to the hut as proof of booking.
Will I be issued hut tickets?
No, a confirmation letter will be issued stating your payment for the hut.
What happens if my trip is cancelled, does my booking get refunded?
Standard booking conditions apply, see booking terms and conditions.
What happens if I show up at the huts with no hut tickets or booking confirmation?
We recommend booking before your trip. In exceptional circumstances, the warden will sell you a hut ticket or issue you an invoice. If there is no warden available, you can pay for your stay at a DOC office on your return from the trip.