The Doc Mid-Caples Hut, photographed almost completed in
January, is open for use by trampers after five months of
construction. Photo by Doc.
A new $535,000 Department of Conservation (Doc) hut in
the Mid-Caples has doubled overnight capacity, trimmed tramping
time and prompted the closure of an ageing Doc hut in the Upper
The hut has 24 bunks for visitors to the Caples Valley,
southwest of Glenorchy, and replaces the smaller 12-bunk hut
built in 1975.
The new hut has a large communal area, is fully insulated and
has summer flush toilets. It also has a sunny front deck with
Fees for overnight use of the hut will remain at $15 per
adult, $7.50 for children aged 11-17 and free for children 10
years and under.
Doc Wakatipu conservation services manager John Roberts said
the Mid-Caples, with its mix of grassy river flats and mature
beech forest, was one of the Wakatipu's most pleasant
More than 3000 people visited the area every year and the
demand for outdoor recreation was increasing.
''Many visitors walk through the Mid-Caples to reach the
Upper Caples and then over to the Greenstone Valley,'' Mr
''The Mid-Caples also provides great opportunities for less
experienced people to go outdoors. The area is popular for
families, fishermen, hunters and school groups, many of who
will complete a short return trip from the road-end.''
Construction of the new Mid-Caples hut follows upgrades of
the McKellar and Greenstone huts in the Greenstone Valley, he
''We have also redeveloped the track from the Upper Caples
that goes over the McKellar Saddle to McKellar Hut in the
Greenstone Valley. The walking time between the Mid-Caples
and McKellar Huts is now six to seven hours.
''With the improved travel over McKellar Saddle it is no
longer necessary for trampers to stay two nights in the
Caples Valley when walking the Caples/Greenstone circuit.
People tramping the Caples/Greenstone will now overnight at
the Mid-Caples, McKellar and Greenstone huts, making the trip
a four-day journey.
''We have therefore decided to close the ageing Doc hut in
the Upper Caples to public use.''
The department is considering the future of the Upper Caples
hut, which may include it being managed by a community group.