New hut on Otamahua/Quail Island opens for public use today

Visitors to Ōtamahua/Quail Island in Te Whakaraupõ­/Lyttelton Harbour will now be able to stay overnight after Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today opened the new Ōtamahua Hut.

The hut has been transformed from an historic caretaker’s cottage into a comfortable 12-bunk tramping hut on the 81 hectare pest-free island, which is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

“Ōtamahua Hut is a fantastic new asset that will for the first time enable people to stay overnight on the island, just a 10-minute ferry ride from Lyttelton,” said Eugenie Sage.

“DOC’s aim is to get more Christchurch families and especially children, out to enjoy the island and experience staying in a DOC hut.”

“Ōtamahua/Quail Island has a fascinating history. Over the last 20 years the Ōtamahua/Quail Island Ecological Restoration Trust has focused on pest eradication and extensive replantings and restoration work which have enhanced the island’s natural environment. It is a great place to visit.”

Eugenie Sage said the restoration of the cottage and its conversion to a bookable hut, had taken considerable work by DOC staff, and had been made possible with support from several organisations including a trust set up to honour former Green Party co-leader Rod Donald.

“I thank the Rod Donald Trust and Ōtamahua/Quail Island Ecological Restoration Trust for their generous support and donations to the redevelopment of the hut.”

The Rod Donald Trust gave $28,000 towards the hut and the Ōtamahua/Quail Island Ecological Restoration Trust donated architectural services for the redesign work. Outdoor clothing and equipment company, Macpac, provided mattresses for the hut.

The cottage was built in about 1910, largely by prisoners from the Lyttelton Jail, and was used as a caretaker’s cottage until the early 1980s. It was also used as an information centre with the information panels now relocated to the Immigrant Barracks at Whakamaru/Swimmers Beach.

Ōtamahua/Quail Island was used by Māori as a base for mahinga kai or food gathering and farmed from the 1850s before it became a recreation reserve in the 1970s. The island was used as a quarantine station for animals and people and was the site of New Zealand’s only leprosy quarantine colony.  Remnants and replicas from the island’s past can be seen from the walking tracks around the island.

Ōtamahua Hut is available to the public from Monday 5 November and bookings can be made through the DOC website. 

Fees to stay in the hut are $15 for an adult and $7.50 for a youth (11-17 years).  Children (up to 10 years) are free.

Action

Jeanette Fitzsimon's Memorial

Since her passing, we have been so moved by your stories of Jeanette. Inspiring, challenging, humorous, poignant — endless stories of a life so ric...
Take Action

Action

Local Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action

Latest Conservation Announcements

Story

New support package for wildlife institutions

Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 mill...
Read More

Story

Boost for community freshwater restoration projects

A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund...
Read More

Story

Funding for Predator Free Whangārei

Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conse...
Read More

Story

New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort

New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under...
Read More

Story

Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland

The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being r...
Read More

Story

Excellent service to nature recognised

The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incr...
Read More