Lyell Saddle Hut | Lyell Range/Radiant Range Conservation Area

The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust has ignored, or been unaware of, DOC’s huge experience in the provision of backcountry huts, and basic, obvious, long-proven elements of hut design have not been incorporated here.

Man, I mean nine steps from the ground to the hut interior, which offer two separate methods for breaking your hip or collarbone: ie, no handrails to the potentially slippery entrance deck; or, an awkward and unnecessary threshold to the main room door; the majority of the bunks in an uninsulated veranda; totally inadequate bench space for stoves; the main living area with the table positioned well away from the windows that have a magnificent view; insect screens, the sandflies just walk through; and the fundamental issue, a poor configuration of the interior space that does not adequately cater to the needs of six people, let alone to 11 tired trampers on a wet evening.

I’m not keen on the privatisation of the public estate and this hut shows potential problems of that process. That is, how did so many poor decisions agglomerate with the building of this hut? Who should be held accountable?

Surely someone should’ve noticed that this hut is just a total stuff up.

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category . . . private hut, constructed and managed by the Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust

hut fee . . . Flat price of $140 per adult person, $70 per child, covers 1—4 nights stay, as long as you stay in different huts.

It is possible to zip up for an overnight stay at the end huts and then go straight out at a cost of $40 a person.

winter hut rate . . . stays beginning during winter months (June, July, and August) are priced at a flat rate of $100 per adult and $50 per child.

camping . . . Flat price of $40 per tent site, can accommodate 2 people, covers 1—4 nights stay, as long as you stay outside different huts. Not supposed to use inside hut facilities but can use toilet and water tank.

It is possible to zip up for an overnight stay at the campsite and then go straight out at a cost of $25 a tent site, that can accommodate 2 people.

booking . . . always required. Book through user.

Book in and out

elevation . . . 875 m

bunks . . . 11 mattresses, 5 in the main room, 6 out on the covered verandah

built . . . 2011

heating . . . woodburner, firewood supplied

water . . . tap above sink from rainwater tank

facilities . . . A rain-fed water supply (from the hut roof), internal sink, cutlery, crockery, cooking pots, gas cooktops, a frying pan, kettle and a coffee plunger, communal living area, wood stove, outside composting toilet, bike storage, and a bike repair station.

toilet . . . longdrop

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