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Online hut booking launches soon

The Department Of Conservation is encouraging Kiwis to create an account online today in preparation for conservation hut and campsite bookings opening on a new booking system on Thursday, June 25, 2020.

“DOC’s 950 huts and 200 campgrounds are situated across the country in some of Aotearoa’s most scenic spots. Conservation campgrounds are a mainstay of classic Kiwi summer holidays and our huts provide shelter and accommodation to thousands of trampers each year,” says Ross Shearer, DOC’s booking services manager.

DOC manages a huge network of accommodation in conservation areas across New Zealand, most of which is operated on a first-come first-served basis. However, some accommodation can be booked in advance online. This helps DOC manage popular facilities and encourages greater use of these facilities by a wide range of people, including families.

Alongside accommodation on the Great Walks, all DOC’s lodges, cabins and cottages, about a quarter of DOC campsites and a small fraction of DOC huts are bookable.

On June 25, bookings open for the majority of these facilities for the 2020/2021 season (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021). To book, customers will need to create a user account online which they can do from today. Ross Shearer recommends creating an account in advance of making a booking, especially for popular destinations, or anywhere during summer holidays.

“After the amazing popularity of Great Walks this year, we’re advising people to get in early and secure their dates to avoid disappointment.

“Our bookable huts and campgrounds include some extremely popular destinations including Pinnacles and Woolshed Creek hut on Mt Somers Walkway in mid Canterbury and Uretiti Beach and Urupukapuka campgrounds in Northland.

“The new system will give people the ability to make and manage their own bookings online rather than needing to contact a visitor centre. It will also enable back country pass holders to use their passes when making a booking.

Ross reminds customers to stay safe outdoors and to prepare well for their trip.

“While the new booking system has the advantage of being able to provide customers with safety and advice prior to their trip, is important to plan in advance, check the weather and conditions, and take all the warm clothes, food and equipment you might need.”  

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