From today, 2021/22 season bookings are open for Department of Conservation huts and campsites with changes and modest price increases for some popular facilities.
"DOC manages a huge, world-class network of huts, campsites, cabins and lodges offering people the chance to stay overnight in some of the most scenic spots in Aotearoa," says DOC heritage and visitors director, Steve Taylor.
"We encourage people to make the most of their fantastic recreation network and visit DOC’s website to secure their spots at a hut or campsite in the coming year.
"Setting fair, affordable prices for these facilities is an important way for DOC to maintain this network, including the memorable recreation opportunities they provide people, and the natural and cultural heritage surrounding them."
Price changes for the coming year include differential pricing for international visitors on seven Great Walks, the extension of the use of seasonal pricing, and the introduction of weekend pricing for a small number of DOC’s most high-use huts, says Steve.
"This year’s changes allow for a more nuanced approach to price-setting and have been designed to improve cost recovery. Many of them offer incentives to visit lesser-known locations or at quieter times to protect places and people’s enjoyment of them. Weekend, seasonal and differential pricing are expected to make a positive difference, but we’ll be monitoring the effectiveness of this approach.
"These changes have been in the pipeline for several years now and many prices, such as for the Backcountry Hut, haven’t changed for a decade. Although the changes do include some modest price increases (from $1 to $5 per night in most instances), there are still lots of free or lower-cost options. People can visit DOC’s website or visitor centres to find an opportunity to suit their needs."
Steve also reminds people to take extra care when heading out over the next few months.
"As we’re entering winter, it’s even more important people check track and weather conditions, pack extra supplies and warm clothing and leave their intentions with a trusted contact."
Online bookings will open for the 2021/22 booking year (July 2021 to June 30, 2022) in stages between May 11-18. Great Walk bookings open between June 15-17.
For more information and to book, visit: www.doc.govt.nz