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While details of this HutReno volunteer initiative are still evolving with DOC it is clear restoration on Christopher Hut will take place during the first week of April. The following information will hopefully be sufficient for you to make a final decision on your inclusion with this HutReno project.

Michal Klajban / CC BY-SA (

Project Dates

1st to 7th April 2020

Proposed Hut

Christopher Hut


  • The restoration project is managed by Hamner Springs DOC Ranger: Anthony Duncan
  • All meals are provided by DOC during the project
  • Tenting accommodation for this project is the responsibility of each volunteer although accommodation is available in the hut.
  • All transport and gear from the Hamner Springs DOC depot to Christpher Hut and return is the responsibility of DOC
  • Should the project finish early we could tramp out to either end of the St James. If this was the case, we would need to give ourselves an extra day so for booking our return flight from Christchurch. The ranger would pick us up regardless although this needs to be checked.

Fly to Christchurch

on 1st of April 2020

Shuttle to Christchurch

Airport Departure 1:00pm


  • Fly to Christchurch on the 1st of April
  • Take shuttle from Christchurch Airport at 1:00pm (to be booked)
  • Arrive at Hamner Springs 3 hours later
  • Accommodation in Hamner Springs to be organised on the night of 1st April
  • Enjoy a relaxing dip in the Hot Springs at Hamner on the evening of the 1st
  • Walk to the DOC depot (short distance) by 8:00am on the 2nd of April
  • Travel in DOC vehicles to Christopher Hut
  • Set up camp/lunch and start renovations on the 2nd April
  • On the 6th of April transported back to Hamner Springs via DOC transport
  • Accommodation in Hamner Springs on the 6th April to be organised
  • Shuttle back to Christchurch airport on the 7th April at 8:00am outside Hot Springs which takes 3 hours.
  • Fly back to Auckland at your convenience
  • Easter is 10th – 13th April
Update 1 March 2020

The Department of Conservation at Hanmer Springs has decided on renovating Christopher Hut on the St James Walkway instead of the historic Gabriel Hut above the shores of beautiful Lake Sumner.

The dates, logistics and travel arrangements remain unchanged. Transport from DOC’s Hanmer Springs depot to Christopher Hut will be via DOC’s 4-wheel drive vehicles (you will want to tell your grandchildren about this two-way safari).

We will be able to use the hut for meals and sleeping but bring your tent as personal preference or precaution as the hut will be open for other trampers during hut renovations. While there is a limited number of volunteers (nine) please feel free to ask those who would be keen to lend a hand. So far there are three volunteers and two to three DOC staff.

We want to hear from you

Get in touch and register your interest today. All enquiries are welcome.