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Stratford Press - 2021-10-13

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Holly Hut bookings going digital

Sports In Taranaki

Trampers hiking Taranaki’s popular Pouakai Circuit will soon have the security of a confirmed bed for the night with both huts along the busy track moving to online booking. From November 1, Taranaki maunga’s Holly Hut will join Pouakai Hut, becoming bookable online via the Department of Conservation’s website. The 32-bunk backcountry serviced hut is along the scenic Pouakai Circuit, and the larger Around the Mountain Circuit tracks. DoC Taranaki recreation/historic supervisor Andy Johnston says Holly Hut can get busy during peak season on the mountain. “Pre-booking online will ensure people get a bunk for the night. To date, it’s been left to chance for visitors as to whether they will get a bed, or the hut is too full. The hut is a three-to-four-hour tramp in from road ends. The added security of pre-booking will hopefully encourage people to get out and enjoy this hut without fear of missing out on a bunk and having to backtrack.” Pouakai Hut moved to online booking in November last year. Feedback from users has been positive, says Andy. “People appreciate knowing they will get a bed at the end of their tramp.” From November 1, trampers wanting to overnight at either hut need to register and book on the DoC website before setting out. Trampers should carry proof of their booking with them. Backcountry hut tickets will no longer be valid at Holly Hut or Pouakai Hut, but they may be used at any other hut in the park. Pricing remains the same, with adults $15, youth (11-17 years) $7.50 and children 10 and under free of charge. Backcountry hut pass discounts apply. Signs have been installed at track entrances and key huts in the park, alerting trampers to the changes.

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