Source: Department of Conservation
DOC has opened an additional 43 campsites and 8 huts for online bookings in time for the summer holidays.
Date: 23 October 2020
“Visitors are now able to book, pay and manage their reservation for a broader range of campsites and huts through the DOC website,” says Tim Bamford, DOC’s Insight and Strategy Manager.
“Providing individuals, groups and families confidence their accommodation is sorted and secured before arrival will enable more Kiwis to take advantage of their conservation accommodation facilities and provide a fairer system for all.”
DOC manages a huge network of accommodation in conservation areas across New Zealand, most of which is operated on a first-come first-served basis. However, some huts and many campsites can be booked in advance online. This helps DOC manage popular facilities and encourages greater use of these facilities by a wide range of people, particularly families.
“Another advantage of the booking service is, in advance of their trip we can provide customers with safety information, track updates and if the reservation is affected by bad weather, other natural events or any cancelations due to potential COVID-19 alert level changes,” says Tim Bamford.
“Our bookings and track counter data shows New Zealander’s desire to get out into our great outdoors has been, and continues to be, strong, with significant peaks over weekends and holidays in many places.”
“We’d encourage people to plan ahead and book early – particularly for the Christmas period and long weekends. Despite border restrictions, we’re seeing many DOC facilities remain busy this year and bookings are currently up 9% for our Great Walks, compared with the same time last year, even with reduced seasons on the popular Milford and Routeburn tracks.”
“It’s extremely pleasing to see so many Kiwis enjoying their conservation areas. For those trying new activities and visiting new corners of stunning Aotearoa, it’s even more vital you plan and prepare for your trip, check the DOC website, pop into the local visitor centre, know the weather and track conditions before you set off, tell someone your plans and pack all you need.”
To start booking including creating your account visit bookings.doc.govt.nz
DOC manages around 950 huts and 300 campgrounds across the country in some of the most scenic spots in Aotearoa offering a range of options for all users.
Prices range from free (basic) to $18 (serviced) per adult per night for camping and the majority of huts range from $5 to $15 per adult per night.
Most of these are non-bookable (ie first come first served).
With the addition of the 43 campsites and 9 huts to the booking system this spring, 43 huts, 82 campsites and 24 lodges, cabins and cottages, can be booked in advance online. Note this doesn’t include DOC accommodation on the Great Walks.
People booking online who are eligible for a discount can apply through their online account for their discounts to be activated on their accounts. Once the discount is activated, it will apply to all reservations made rather than having to request a retrospective refund. People can also use their backcountry hut passes when booking online.
DOC’s bookable and non-bookable huts are available to anyone needing shelter from adverse weather conditions or when people are in trouble. People should be aware they may have to sleep on the floor if the hut is completely booked.
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