The Department of Conservation (DOC) is updating accommodation prices for its huts, lodges, some campsites, the West Coast’s Paparoa Track, and off-season rates for some Great Walk huts.
The new prices will be applied for the 2023/24 booking year, from 1 July 2023.
Cat Wilson, DOC’s Director of Heritage and Visitors, says some recreation facility prices haven’t changed in 15 years and don’t reflect present day costs.
“DOC is operating under increased budget pressures from rising construction and maintenance costs, reduced revenue due to the impacts of COVID-19, and extreme weather events such as Cyclone Gabrielle.”
“Visitor charges contribute to recovering the costs of providing DOC’s recreation accommodation, and balances the cost burden between users and taxpayers,” she says. “The fees collected help support investment into recreation facilities to maintain, repair and improve experiences at huts, and campsites, lodges, cottages, and cabins.”
Standard hut fees will increase from $5 to $10 and serviced hut fees will move from $15 to $25. This is the first adjustment to hut category fees since 2008.
There will also be price changes for the Paparoa Track this year due to its popularity. Paparoa’s hut prices will increase to a level similar to other popular Great Walks.
Different fees for international visitors will also be applied to the Paparoa Track during the summer period, which will be at a rate of 1.5 x the domestic hut fees.
“DOC provides a wide range of experiences to help people connect with the most scenic places in New Zealand. There are choices for all budgets including many free options.
“Short walks, day hikes, multi-day walks, overnight stays, Great Walks – paddling, hiking, biking – the variety of landscapes in such a small country is phenomenal,” said Ms Wilson.