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Popular backcountry hut burns to the ground

One of Mt Taranaki’s most popular backcountry huts has burnt to the ground.

Department of Conservation staff have confirmed Lake Dive Hut had been destroyed by a fire. The cause remains unknown at this stage.

Although it has yet to be firmly established, it’s thought the hut burnt down over the weekend.

A tramper reported the incident to DOC on Monday morning and DOC staff confirmed the report the same day.

A fire investigator, police and DOC staff assessed the hut remains Tuesday to determine a cause of the fire.

DOC Taranaki operations manager Gareth Hopkins says the hut was a popular weekend overnight tramping destination, and part of the multi-day Around the Mountain Circuit.

"Many people will have fond memories of staying overnight there – it’s quite a loss."

Gareth says it’s too early at this stage to say if or when the hut will be rebuilt.

DOC will install signs at track junctions to the hut informing trampers of the unavailability of the hut and recommending alternate huts.

Built in the early 1980s, the 16-bunk Lake Dive Hut was one of six huts on Mt Taranaki commissioned by the Department of Lands and Survey. A return walk to the hut, using the Lake Dive Track, takes between seven and eight hours.

Anyone with further information on the incident is encouraged to contact DOC’s New Plymouth office on: 06 759 0350.

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