15 October 2017
Renata Hut in the Tararua Ranges just north of the Renata and Maymorn Ridges Junction has hit hard times. Over-run with rats, the mattresses rat-eaten, rotting window frames, a leak in front of the fireplace and a dirty interior, the hut presents a sad sight for any arriving tramper. It still keeps most of the rain out but it is not a nice place to stay. One entry in the visitors book says it is the worst hut in New Zealand.
Built in the early 1950s by the Wellington Catholic Tramping Club, the hut was a great effort by a small club as all the materials were carried in from Cloustonville a good 3 to 4 hours away. (There was no Waiotauru logging road in those days.) The hut was solidly build by a band of master builders who were in the club. For many years it filled an important role on Renata Ridge, being the only hut in the area.
As time went on the WCTC became less active and today only exists as a ski club.
Hopefully they will soon hand over the hut to DoC or some other group that would be interested in preserving the ‘old girl’ who is about 64 years old. The hut is still reasonably sound but needs some TLC - it would be much cheaper to fix it up than to build a new one.
Last week I took a kilo of rat poison in and placed it under the hut. That should get rid of one of the problems but the hut needs ongoing maintenance to bring it back to good condition. Lets hope it happens soon as the hut is too good to lose.
- Party members
- Barry Durrant (scribe).