Lyell Saddle Hut | Lyell Range/Radiant Range Conservation Area

The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust has ignored, or been unaware of, DOCs huge experience in the provision of backcountry huts, and basic, obvious, long proven elements of hut design have not been incorporated here.

Man, I mean nine steps from the ground to the hut interior which offer two separate methods for breaking your hip or collarbone: ie, no handrails to the potentially slippery entrance deck; or, an awkward and unnecessary threshold to the main room door; the majority of the bunks in an uninsulated veranda; totally inadequate bench space for stoves; the main living area with the table positioned well away from the windows that have a magnificent view; insect screens, the sandflies just walk through; and the fundamental issue, a poor configuration of the interior space that does not adequately cater to the needs of six people, let alone to 11 tired trampers on a wet evening.

I’m not keen on the privatisation of the public estate and this hut shows potential problems of that process. That is, how did so many poor decisions agglomerate with the building of this hut? Who should be held accountable?

Surely someone should’ve noticed that this hut is just a total stuff up.

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category . . . private hut, constructed and managed by the Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust

hut fee . . . $30

booking . . . required. Book online. Note the booking system has some problems, like being able to book more than one night in a single transaction.

elevation . . . 875 m

bunks . . . 11, 5 in main room, 6 out on the covered verandah

built . . . 2011

heating . . . firebox, firewood supplied

water . . . tap above sink from rainwater tank

toilet . . . longdrop

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