• Patrick McBride

Popular hut rebuilt

A hut at Lake Daniell in the Maruia Valley, near Springs Junction in the West Coast area which has been a popular “first tramp” for many generations of kiwi families has been rebuilt and is now open for use.

PHOTO: Cam Jones

The hut was first built in 1976 as “Manson-Nicholls Memorial Hut” to commemorate the lives of 3 trampers who were killed in a 1974 landslide which destroyed a fishing club hut across the lake.

The hut has now been renamed “Kōhanga Atawhai – Manson Nicholls Hut”. Kōhanga Atawhai translates to “Conservation Nest”.

Shane Hall, Māwhera/Greymouth Operations Manager, says the walk is a great one for families and first time trampers, taking just 2 to 3 hours on easy terrain through magnificent red beech forest to reach the new hut on the shore of Lake Daniell.

“The hut is north-facing for the sun, has a lake view, and is great for fishing or swimming with a shallow water edge, so the whole family is catered for."

The hut has been built with input from the local Maruia School and with future accessibility in mind. It has state of the art composting toilets attached to the hut by a boardwalk.

“This is a great place to experience the benefits of many years of conservation work in the area. The area has had regular pest control for the last 20 years, and the forests surrounding the hut are home to kākā, bellbird, tūī, robins, kākāriki and long-tailed bats as well as healthy populations of other small forest birds,” Hall said.

Beginning this summer season, the hut will be added to the DOC booking system and bookings will be required to secure a bunk.